Friday Kickoff: Mexico tops Honduras; Del Bosque backs Costa, Casillas; and more

Friday Kickoff: Mexico tops Honduras; Del Bosque backs Costa, Casillas; and more

European Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Mexico tops Honduras; Del Bosque backs Costa, Casillas; and more

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ChicharitoHernandez-USAToday

Photo by Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Although it may have only been a friendly, Mexico can finally say they’ve gotten past the always-scrappy Honduras.

Mexico topped Honduras 2-0, Saturday for their first victory over their CONCACAF rivals in five years and their second victory in three games following this past summer’s World Cup.

The scoring was opened in the 21st minute by Mexico striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, who finished from a tough angle following a pass from Oribe Peralta. El Tri doubled their lead 16 minutes later when Oswaldo Alanis headed in a Marco Fabian corner kick en route to earning Mexico the 2-0 victory.

Next up for Mexico is a matchup with Panama Sunday in Queretaro, while Honduras take on the U.S. Men’s National Team Tuesday in Boca Raton, Florida.

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Friday morning:

SPAIN’S DEL BOSQUE BACKS COSTA, CASILLAS DESPITE STRUGGLES

Despite becoming one of the Premier League’s most feared strikers on the club level, Diego Costa is yet to his his stride when it comes to the international game.

The Spain striker was held scoreless yet again Thursday, as Spain were upset by Slovakia, 2-1, in Euro 2016 qualifying. However, despite Costa’s struggles, manager Vicente Del Bosque has stated that he was pleased with Costa’s overall performance.

“Costa is very enthusiastic and putting in effort,” Del Bosque said of Costa, who remains scoreless in six games with Spain. “As well as his performance we are happy with his commitment.”

Del Bosque also defended goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who has been under fire for months due to a noticeable drop in form.

“Casillas had saved good chances from Slovakia previously,” Del Bosque said. “I didn’t see it clearly but the ball moved strangely and tricked Iker.

“This is football. We cannot fault players. We showed patience to move the ball but lacked accuracy and their goalkeeper played well. Nobody likes to lose but nobody can say we lacked effort or attitude. We lost due to circumstances of football.”

DALGLISH TO PRESENT SUAREZ WITH EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE

Luis Suarez made his move away from Liverpool over the summer, but the controversial striker has made sure not to forget his time with the Reds.

The Uruguayan has requested that Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish be the one to present him with the European Golden Shoe, which he will share with Cristiano Ronaldo, after scoring 31 goals with Liverpool last season.

Suarez is said to have wanted to make Liverpool as much a part of the ceremony as possible, as the 27-year-old striker was originally hoping to have the ceremony at Anfield in the presence of Steven Gerrard. However, with that an impossibility, Suarez did get his wish of having Dalglish in attendance, as the former Scotland star will fly to Barcelona to present Suarez with his award Wednesday.

QUICK KICKS

Manchester City striker Stefan Jovetic, who missed most of last season with a hamstring injury, limped off of Montenegro’s 0-0 draw with Lichtenstein. (REPORT)

Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Snjeider has stated that he is currenrly owed up to $1.25 million by the club. (REPORT)

Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski has expressed his frustration with his lack of first team opportunities with the Gunners. (REPORT)

Hamburg are preparing to complete a permanent deal for on-loan Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby. (REPORT)

What did you think of Mexico’s victory? How should Spain handle the struggles of Costa and Casillas? How can Suarez replicate his success with new club Barcelona?

Share your thoughts below.

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