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Late Najar goal saves Honduras from defeat vs. Panama

photo by Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Trailing Panama after just 21 minutes, Honduras piled on the pressure for the remainder of the match. Wayward finishing and some good goalkeeping prevented the Hondurans from finding the equalizer, but Andy Najar eventually provided it.

Najar scored off a rebound to help Honduras pick up a 1-1 draw with Panama in a heated Group A encounter on Friday. Najar netted in the 81st minute of the match at Gillette Stadium, slotting a second effort into the back of the net immediately after Jaime Penedo had denied him on a penalty kick.

Honduras, which fell behind to a well-worked set piece that Luis Tejada finished off in the 21st minute, nearly completed the comeback. The Hondurans scored what looked like a winner deep into stoppage time, but for the second time in the match referee Marlon Mejia called a Honduras goal back for offside.

The result leaves Panama with two points and Honduras with one through two games. The U.S. Men’s National Team and Haiti are set to play later on Friday night.

Making matters worse for the Panamanians was that they lost defender Luis Henriquez to a second yellow card after the final whistle.

Grabbing at least a point was fair to Honduras, which created several good looks after conceding but failed to put them away until Najar came through late.

Panama will next play the U.S. on Monday while Honduras takes on Haiti that same day. Both games will be played at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.


What do you think of Honduras’ 1-1 draw vs. Panama? Were the Hondurans unlucky not to come out on top? Surprised no one was sent off?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Agreed that he is quality but he wanted to play for his homeland so he didn’t get away. I respect his decision and wish him nothing but the best except vs the USA!

      • Why?

        The kid was 3-4 years away from getting his American citizenship when Honduras came calling. Honduras was offering him a World Cup…in the nation he’d been born in and lived the first 13 years of his life in.

        Kind of an easy decision, if you ask me. Play in World Cups now, or wait 3-4 years in the hope the USA would still be interested, in the hope that you’d stay healthy?

        I wish we’d snagged Najar too, but his circumstances were such that he made the best decision for himself…and for his family. Hard to fault a guy for that. We watched a lot of German-Americans – and a Norwegian-American, and an Icelandic-American – make exactly the same decision this last cycle our way for exactly the same reason, and a lot of those guys had never even lived in the USA.

        Win some, lose some.

    • You might as well say Cristiano Ronaldo got away, they both have the same eligibility for the USMNT. Najar was not at the time of his choice, and is not an American citizen.

      • That’s not a fair comparison at all. Najar wasn’t born here but he was Developed through the MLS system. Discovered by MLS scouts. Going through the process of getting his permanent residency card AND considering waiting out the process to play for the US. The wait was just too long.

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