For most of the second-half in Panama City, it looked like Honduras were going to earn their first qualifying victory over Panama since 2000.
However, Roman Torres had other ideas as the Seattle Sounders defender scored a 90th-minute equalizer to earn the hosts a point, in Tuesday’s 2-2 home draw. Torres, finished nicely inside the box which brought Panama level for the first time since the 41st minute.
Romell Quioto’s sixth-minute effort deflected in off of Panama keeper Jaime Penedo for an early own-goal. Blas Perez drew the hosts level just before halftime, seeing his attempt find the top right corner. Torres came close to putting Panama ahead before halftime, but saw his header saved by Donis Escober.
Early into the second-half, Torres again was kept out by Escober, who this time saved the defender’s right-footed effort from inside the box.
Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis rifled Honduras back into the lead after 61 minutes, finishing off Rony Martinez’s assists to the bottom left corner. Gabriel Torres was kept out by Escober after 74 minutes, after the keeper palmed away a bundled effort which looked to have crossed the line.
Torres’ 90th-minute strike proved to be the difference, as Panama held on for a point at home. Escober made five saves, and easily saved Honduras from dropping the match entirely thanks to his huge save on Torres from a corner. Honduras only had three shots on target, with Penedo making one save.
Panama (1-4-1) remains in fourth place with seven points, after earning their third consecutive qualifying draw. After suffering a 3-0 beatdown in Mexico last Thursday, Honduras (1-2-3) will happily take the road point from a tough atmosphere.
TICOS USE PAIR OF FIRST-HALF GOALS TO SINK T&T
Costa Rica snapped a three-match winless run in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, by defeating Trinidad & Tobago, 2-1 in San Jose.
A pair of first-half goals from Francisco Calvo and Bryan Ruiz was all the Ticos needed to earn an important three points at home. Calvo opened the scoring after a minute, heading home Joel Campbell’s cross to the top right corner.
Joevin Jones created the first opportunity on goal for the visitors, seeing his long-range shot saved by Keylor Navas after 29 minutes. Kevin Molino drew T&T level just six minutes later, as his left-footed blast found the bottom left corner. Jones was credited with the assist, as Molino came up with the goods for his side.
After Campbell was saved by Jan Michael Williams, Bryan Ruiz put Costa Rica back in front in the 44th minute, scoring from a long-range effort of his own. Ruiz’s left-footed shot found the bottom right corner, after Marco Urena was credited with the assist.
Navas was rarely troubled in the second-half, only being forced into one save by the opponents. Costa Rica has several chances to extend their cushion, but Johan Venegas and Joel Campbell saw chances go begging. At the final whistle, Costa Rica added another three points to their top-three chances. Navas made four saves in the win, while Williams made three saves in the loss.
Costa Rica (3-2-1) remains in second place, now sitting on 11 points in qualifying. A fifth loss in qualifying, keeps Trinidad & Tobago (1-0-5) in sixth place with only three points.