International Soccer

Olympic qualifying rewind: Mexico clinches semis berth, T&T draws Panama

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CARSON,Calif. — A night after the United States slipped against Canada, Mexico made sure that there would be no letdown from them.

Alan Pulido scored a hat trick as Mexico defeated Honduras, 3-0 at the Home Depot Center. The Tigres UNAL forward tallied two goals in the first half and scored just 41 seconds into the second to round out the scoring as Mexico throughly dominated Honduras. DC United midfielder Andy Najar started on the bench for Los Catrachos and was an unused substitute. 

In the first match of the doubleheader, a stoppage time goal by Shahdon Winchester canceled out a Cicilio Waterman strike as Trinidad and Tobago earned an important draw against Panama. Battling wind and rain as well as one another, Waterman put Panama out in the 69th minute before Winchester's heroics stole a point for the Soca Warriors. 

With Sunday's results, Mexico has secured one of the group's two semifinal berths while all three of their group opponents remain in contention for the other spot.  Group B play ends on Tuesday when Trinidad and Tobago face Honduras while Mexico takes on Panama. 

Will Mexico face the United States in the semifinal round? Who will claim the other semifinal spot out of Group B?

Share your thoughts below.

  • bs

    Mexico will be tough to beat. That Pulido guy looks a real baller. Hopefully Canada stumbles against Cuba.


  • SuperChivo

    “Will Mexico face the United States in the semifinal round?”
    We can only hope, at this point. Think Mexico is going to rest everyone possible next match?


  • Paulo

    Unless Canada lays an egg against Cuba, we’ll face Mexico.

    We need an emphatic win against El Salvador to a) move on , b) build up confIdence.

    Ps Our defense is atrocious


  • Jason

    golazo of pulido that second goal. mexico dominated the whole game. Honduras had no other choice to park the bus to make sure they don’t receive 5 goals


  • John

    I think they’ve locked up first already. Honduras is the only other team that can get to 6 points on the final matchday and Mexico holds the head to head against them. Mexico’s GD is +9 as well


  • ChrisTheLSUTiger

    Step 1: Learn English
    Step 2: Troll

    You skipped step one and went straight to two.


  • chicharito

    All the english you need to read : Mexico is headed to London and USA is staying home because of El Salvador and Canada. How embarrassing. KTHXBYE.


  • Aquaman

    I know the score is all you need to see and that we have to worry about El Salvador first, but Honduras showed that you can string some passes together against Mexico. Honduras’ keeper wasn’t helping them out all that much, and the help up the middle for the final pass/shot wasn’t there on offense, but there were strings where they were working the ball pretty effectively along the sides. Someone needs to be there for the crosses they’re going to give up though. It’s almost the exact same team US beat 2-0 last month, so it’s possible, they just have to get past El Salvador and finish the chances they’ll get against Mexico.


  • Paulo

    Doesn’t look good for us.



    Loss against Canada was UNACCEPTABLE.


  • john

    No, it wasn’t the same team.

    Araujo was benched and Reyes took his place in central defense.

    Both center mids played scrap minutes in the friendly against the US. Cabrera and Herrera took over for Bocanegra (who didn’t even make the final squad) and Enriquez.

    Aquino is the starter instead of Cortes on the right side and Pulido took over for Amione.

    That’s half the field players.

    Mexico was outplayed by the US in that friendly game but that’s really all it was, a friendly.


  • YO

    That loss to the U.S. helped Mexico better prepare for these games. Not happy with the U.S. tactical game!


  • Aquaman

    Aquino and Herrera did play an entire half though, but you’re right Pulido and Cabrera didn’t really see significant minutes and Reyes didn’t play at all. The point wasn’t merely about minutes and starters though, the point was more along the lines of “they’ve seen these guys before, they know what they can do and they can compete with them.” I said almost the exact same team because I believe only 3 players on this qualifying roster were not on the friendly roster a month ago and two of them are the backup goalkeepers.

    So, overall, these are players they are familiar with and should have some confidence going against. It’s not all doom and gloom if we have to face Mexico. If Honduras can get in some good passing sequences against this Mexican team, the US should too, they just have to make sure to take shots and finish their chances.

    Of course, the US has to get there first.


  • PD

    So, Mexico looks good and no win is every guaranteed (Canada) based on the results of a previous match (Cuba)… what the heck else is new?

    Why are people acting like the US Soccer sky is falling and making dire cave-man speak posts about unacceptable losses and the end of the world? The bucs will learn and adjust or they will go home. I include Porter as a buc in that statement.

    Crashing out of the tournament would be really disappointing, but US Soccer is in the process of evolving the ENTIRE system: new style, new players, new coaches, new philosophy. There will be setbacks. If the goal is to go to London we may very well fail. If the goal to to evolve US soccer to a different level we lose nothing in a tough loss. Many players on the U23 are now being faced with figuring out what every successful professional player comes up against: how to I best contribute to my team when I am a target of at least two defenders at all times and meeting a level of resistance that is stronger than I expect or have previously experienced? Do I get frustrated and disappear or do I change my thinking? The coaching staff also perhaps did not give Canada enough respect and perhaps overrated the fitness level of his players from the Cuba match. I’m sure in hindsight they would have considered playing for a tie and resting up more players for El Salvador, but that’s hindsight and prematch I’m sure he was thinking, get the result, clinch the berth, then rest.

    There’s a lot to learn from a loss, even a painful one.


  • john

    The problem essentially lies in putting so much emphasis on a friendly game, let alone the result.

    A lot was made of that game and the team has yet to put in a performance that is similar to what we saw against Mexico.

    There’s a reason why the Mexican media and fans weren’t too concerned with that result. They’ve seen their team show up when it counts and knew that a friendly was just that, a friendly.

    Mexico is now playing with much more focus and intensity and that is something we haven’t seen from this US team so far in the tournament.

    That’s something to worry about.


  • Brett

    “Do or die” is when you really find out what your team is made of. I expect us to beat ES and give Mexico a fair match.


  • chicharito

    Awww…look at the Americans pulling excuses out of their butts already. How cute that you guys think you are on our level.


  • IcanonlyscoretapinsChichi

    Man o man; greasy Mexican trolls come out of the woodwork when Mexico actualy does something in the world of football. If by troll you mean chicharito then si senora. If the US plays Mexico you will lose and when you do; come back here and troll some more. You are probably a fat kid living in the US behind your computer screen hating on the country and its citizen that welcomed you. Go away troll!




  • chicharito

    I’ll enjoy El Salvador running circles around those robots you call players. god usa needs our sloppy seconds (corona) to have decent mid play. haha. no london and at this rate probably no brasil with jurgen lotion in charge.


  • MemRook

    Lol @ “Chicharito”. Y’all getting so upset at this guy talking trash and giving you a hard time. He’s cracking me up. What? Another fan of another team can’t post on here? Puh-lease. You guys have some thin-a** skin. I embrace it. Thank you Chicharito for making the rivalry enjoyable.

    I was at the Canada game Saturday and the El Salvador fans lingered to watch the game too and gave us soooooo much sh*t when Canada scored twice and won. It’s fun! And part of the game/atmosphere. I love it. I can’t wait for tonight to go back and forth with more ES fans.

    So bring it Chicharito! USA is gonna stomp alllllll over Mexico in Kansas City. Mark my words. Dos a cero alllllll day. Mexico? Pffff. Get out of here.


  • Red White & Blue Porker

    Greasy Mexican… no wonder players like Corona, Torres, ect have trouble deciding to play for the US. Its trash like you thats destroying this country


  • IcanonlyscoretapinsChichi

    lol, Mexican is a nationality not a creed…that would be latino. Calling someone greesy is not being racist its called being a troll (look it up). As far as Carona and Torres, etc….they chose USA because that is where they were born…hmm (look it up). I would start by not defending a flaming troll then recognize that it is indeed single minded ants like yourselves that are killing this country every day by condoning your very words. PEACE!!!!! Go USA!!!!!

    el IcanonlyscoretapinsChichi


  • bryan

    people getting all angry at Chicharito need to relax and get some thicker skin. or come up with a response that isn’t so defensive or borderline racist. he’s a troll, this in the internet. it happens.

    in any event, the US only have themselves to blame. talk about an overconfident bunch of kids? when i was watching the Studio 90 stuff, i kept thinking to myself that they were way too confident. sure enough, they were. so now not only do we have to beat El Salvador, but we need to beat them handily. we need to watch cards, we need to be smart about subs too since we won’t get a game that doesn’t mean anything. then we need Cuba to lie or beat Canada so we can get 1st. otherwise, we play Mexico for our Olympic berth. needless to say, that won’t be a walk in the park and both teams will be fighting to the death to get to London.

    i’m still annoyed about Saturday.


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