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CONCACAF World Cup qualifying: Mexico ekes by El Salvador and more

Mexico (Reuters Pictures)

Winning on the road in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is no easy feat, and Mexico had its hands full Tuesday night before ultimately walking away from Estadio Cuscatlan in El Salvador with a 2-1 victory.

Hector Moreno's 85th-minute goal gave Mexico the decisive edge, with the Espanyol centerback scoring off Edgar Andrade's free kick for the match-winner. Jesus Zavala opened the scoring after he was deemed onside for his 60th-minute finish, but the hosts leveled through Alfredo Pacheco, whose low free kick curled into the goal five minutes later to temporarily pull El Salvador even.

With the win, Mexico sits atop Group B with six points, while El Salvador has just one point from two matches.

Here are the other results from the second matchday of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying:


Alvaro Saborio is a man on a mission. The Real Salt Lake striker tallied a hat trick, as Costa Rica coasted by Guyana and into second place in Group B with the rout. 

Saborio scored in the 20th, 26th and 52nd minutes to add to his tally from Costa Rica's group opener against El Salvador on Friday. Arsenal's Joel Campbell, who also scored Friday, finished off Guyana with his 77th-minute strike that sealed the three road points.


The Benna Boys did the United States a favor, holding Jamaica to the scoreless draw and ensuring that the Americans would emerge from these first two matches in first place in Group A.

Both teams had chances to find the winner, none better than Luton Shelton's chance after the hour mark for Jamaica that hit the post. Jamaica trails the United States on goal differential in the group, and the back-to-back September matches between the two sides will determine plenty, with the Americans venturing to Kingston on Sept. 7 before returning to Columbus to host the Reggae Boyz on Sept. 11.


Given a chance to make some major headway to sealing a place in the hexagonal round, Canada could not deliver. Given a chance to make up for a disappointing home loss in its opener, Honduras could not come up with a tally either.

Instead the two sides played to a Group C stalemate at BMO Field, with Honduras securing its first qualifying point while Canada takes second place after the first two matches of group play but is left disappointed after having a number of chances to put Los Catrachos away.


Nelson Barahona's 58th-minute goal was all Los Canaleros needed to improve to 2-0 in qualifying and rise to the top of the Group C table all alone after Canada was held to its draw.

After two matches, and no other qualifiers until September, here is how the group tables shake out:


1. United States (1-0-1, 4 points, +2 GD)

2. Jamaica (1-0-1, 4 points, +1 GD)

3. Guatemala (0-1-1, 1 point, -1 GD)

4. Antigua and Barbuda (0-1-1, 1 point, -2 GD)


1. Mexico (2-0-0, 6 points, +3 GD)

2. Costa Rica (1-0-1, 4 points, +4 GD)

3. El Salvador (0-1-1, 1 point, -1 GD)

4. Guyana (0-2-0, 0 points, -6 GD)


1. Panama (2-0-0, 6 points, +3 GD)

2. Canada (1-0-1, 4 points, +1 GD)

3. Honduras (0-1-1, 1 point, -2 GD)

4. Cuba (0-2-0, 0 points, -2 GD)


What did you think of Tuesday's matches? Which teams have impressed you in qualifying so far? Which have disappointed?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The video I posted is a compilation of different TV stations showing the goal from multiple angles. There is one angle in particular that CLEARLY shows Rodriguez doesn’t touch the ball so in essence, the goal is legit and you’re arguing otherwise.

    There is nothing biased about my analysis. I provided proof and you provided an image that doesn’t show anything and try to pass it off as proof. It makes me wonder about you.

  2. Yeah that televisa. I’m in Mexico right now too. Don’t try to lie to ppl. Remember “you can fool some ppl some time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time” Hehe… stop d hating man. No one needs to convince you of anything. A win is a win. And the 3 points are good

  3. Yeah Televisa? The same televisa that doesn’t let me see their replays because I am out of the country by what their error message says? Mexico is such a joke when it comes to football. The minute you guys beat an under 23 Brazil and a weaker El Salvador team every Mexican sports outlet starts staking claims at Mexico impressive growth curve. No matter how much that team chances it still the same whiny sore losing and vindictive team it has always been. I would love to have Mexican at least acknowledge that whatever is done to them outside of Mexico is done to others when they go to La Azteca. I don’t remember ever any Mexican fan complaining at their fans for throwing piss bags at players or how bout the wasp/bees that were released on the Salvadorean goalie last qualifiers in Mexico. Nothing, just like the Mexican media, you simply ignore the facts and cross your arms when it happens to you.

    And it was completely offside, when it gets back-heeled onto the forwards who then became offside.

  4. You spend a lot of time watching the Mexican media huh? Hard to believe. The dudes on televisa analized the goals plenty and claim it was onside as well. Dunno what u talking about.

  5. You are confused. Something the Mexican media has been doing ever since the goal happened is not even show the clips of the play. And that video only proves that the first goal was onside. But doesn’t prove that the second one is onside. That fact that no Mexican media outlet is showing the goal replay or analyzing the actual game and celebrating the “superb” play means that Mexico is lucky to get such shady officiating. Normally when Mexico wins, the game winner is shown none stop for days and followed by the assumption that Mexico has hit a new level. Something that this game hasn’t done. Mexico’s media is very capricious when it comes to the team. When they win, its all daisies, when they lose the team is complete crap. And when they get controversial calls like the second goal and Blanco’s phantom penalty kick in the last qualifier the Mexican media just dances around the controversy by not giving any type of opinion whatsoever.

    Boom here….clearly offside…

  6. I know the rules clearly this is a case of seeing the play differently it happens often in this sport. There are many plays that are disputed after the fact if you follow this sport for even a year you would know that and you would drop this nonsense of “learn the rules.” How about you learn a bit more about this sport and its history instead of just being patronizing.

  7. You don’t get it. Not offside when Guardado plays it, Maza doesn’t touch it. No offside thus its a goal. Of course if you had more cameras on the field that show that maza touched it and got better footage than all the stations that aired the game please share or better yet just learn the rules

  8. I didn’t know I needed to explain the offside rule. If it is touched in the box then the 2 players waiting would be offside even if they were onside when Guardado first hit it. I figured you understood the offside my bad

  9. “everyone agrees when Guardado put it into play all of the players were onside” then there is no off side..end of discussion with your own words

  10. The fact that you start your post with a LOL shows how bias your analysis is. The reason it doesn’t show when Guardado puts it into play is because that isn’t the disputed part of the play everyone agrees when Guardado put it into play all of the players were onside. On another point with that kind of touch the ball doesn’t have to change course but the fact you think it does makes me wonder even more about you.

  11. LOL

    That’s your proof?

    That picture doesn’t show the moment the ball was put into play by Guardado which shows there is NOBODY in an offside position.

    Your “picture” also doesn’t show Rodriguez touching the ball, which if he did would validate your argument. The reason most people don’t think the touched it was because the ball didn’t change course WHATSOEVER which it would have even with the slightest of touches.

    Felipe Ramos Rizo and Vladimir Fernandez, former CONCACAF refs who reffed WC games BOTH agreed the goals were legit.

    Here’s a still that shows there was no offside from the beginning:

    This picture clearly shows all Mexican players are kept onside by one ES defender.

  12. El Salvador got a bad deal also. Andreas Cantor claims the winning Mexico goal was offside and I agree. Some are making a false claim that nobody else touched the ball except for the striker who was on, so it’s a good goal. However, his strike partner who was offside, made a clear attempt just a few feet from the goalie to strike the ball but missed, he was clearly not passive nor onnside.

  13. I really don’t think you’re right here…. and nobody wants mexico to lose more than I.
    They were in an onside position when the ball was played.
    end of story.
    They’re onside, and the goal should stand.

  14. The ball wasn’t touched.

    The player closest to the ball was Francisco Rodriguez, who jumps and lets the ball go through his legs, a move that threw off the two defenders next to him.

    And just because the “Mexican” commentators said it was offside doesn’t actually make it so. I’m assuming you’re referring to the Telemundo guys, who are an Argentine and a Peruvian.

    The reverse angle from the Televisa feed clearly shows the ball bouncing in the box without anyone touching it not to mention the fact that the replay also shows Zavala and Moreno perfectly onside once the ball was played into the box.

  15. no, it was offsides and even the mexican press seem to agree. having said that, you are correct about El Salvador playing a dangerous offside trap game all night. Mexico was caught offsides 6 times. at one point is was going to back fire. and it did.

  16. according to Law 11, those two players who were in an offside position and ended up having a direct effect on the play should have been flagged for offside.

  17. Mexico second goal was clearly offsides, the ref’s robed El Salvador. The ball was touch I don’t know what you saw.

  18. Both of Mexico’s goals were legit.

    Zavala is onside when the ball is played to him.

    The second one was close but both Moreno and Zavala were onside when the ball was played into the box and contrary to popular belief here, the ball wasn’t touched by anyone and fell cleanly to Moreno who put it away.

    El Salvador played the offside trap all night long and were burned twice by Mexico who didn’t really do much all game other than absorb El Salvador’s pressure and pass the ball laterally in order to deflate their opponents.

    Pretty good game plan and execution by Jose Manuel de la Torre.

    Props to El Salvador as well, they were going full throttle for the first 55 minutes and then ran out of gas and made it easier for Mexico to manage the game.

    Coincidentally, Mexico played much better away at El Salvador and Honduras last cycle but still lost and this time they play defensively and walk away with the three points. Lesson to be learned for all of us.

  19. I agree with you, first goal legit second offsides. I feel bad for El Salvador. They played well enough to earn at least a draw.

  20. You’re hilarious my friend … BTW, love the way you snuck US into the second round. Let’s wait and see if they even qualify for the World Cup first.

  21. Mexico’s first goal was on a questionable call, but their second goal was clearly offside. Usually those close calls go to the home team, I feel like El Salvador got robbed at home.

  22. I know a lot of people were saying Mexico’s goal was offside last night, but I just watched the highlights and it looks like no one touched the ball initially when it got in the box keeping both Mexico players onside.

  23. The typical choke at home shows Canada would get its butt handed to it by almost any other World Cup team. They are not capable of doing much better than their three-and-out, no-goals-for showing in Mexico 86. But the same would be true of any Concacaf team that makes it as the 4th placed team in Hex and winner over Oceania’s best. Best Concacaf can hope for at Brazil 2014 is 2nd round or quarters by US and/or Mexico and 1st round elimination with “moral victories” (ie no routs) for 3rd and possible 4th teams.
    Of course, Mexican fans will expect to win it all and blame the refs no matter how far they go.

  24. Costa Rica still has a tough road because traditionally they don’t do well even at home against Mexico and they would still need to go to El Salvador and come away with a point otherwise it will come down to goal difference


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