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CONCACAF Rewind: Mexico jumps to first place, Costa Rica grabs first win, and more


The Mexican national team rebounded nicely on Sunday with a comfortable home victory to move back to first place in the octagonal round table.

Tata Martino watched as his squad rolled past Honduras 3-0 at Estadio Azteca, jumping ahead of the U.S. men’s national team and staying unbeaten through its five qualifying matches so far.

Sebastian Cordova needed only 18 minutes to break the deadlock from Mexico City, using a right-footed shot to beat Luis Lopez to the center of the goal. It was Cordova’s first goal of the new qualifying cycle, which put Honduras on the back foot early away from home.

Fabian Coito side’s chances took a hit in the 49th minute as veteran centerback Maynor Figueroa was sent off for a last man challenge on Raul Jimenez. Figueroa laid out and leveled Jimenez who would’ve had a breakaway on goal, eventually seeing an early exit to the match.

El Tri made Honduras pay in the 75th minute as Rogelio Funes Mori followed up in the box and slotted home a rebound effort past Lopez into the left corner. Edson Alvarez’s shot rattled the left post, but Mori was in the right spot to score.

Hirving Lozano capped off a strong outing for El Tri by finishing off Orbelin Pineda’s assist into the top-right corner. The Napoli man was kept at bay for most of the match, but eventually got his goal to pad Mexico’s home victory.

Honduras dropped to seventh in the group while Mexico sits three points clear of the USMNT.

Costa Rica 2, El Salvador 1

(Bryan Ruiz 52, Celso Borges 58′) – (Jairo Hernandez 12′)

Costa Rica claimed its first victory of the new qualifying round in style by fighting back to down El Salvador 2-1 in San Jose.

Hugo Perez’s side struck first as Jairo Hernandez’s long-range strike beat Keylor Navas to the bottom-left corner, giving the visitors an early advantage.

Costa Rica did not lie down though, using a pair of goals in quick succession after halftime to swing momentum back into its favor. Bryan Ruiz’s header off a Celso Borges cross tied things up for the hosts in the 52nd minute, giving Costa Rica some life to take an eventual lead.

Los Ticos would earn a penalty kick in the 58th minute as Mario Gonzalez brought down Jose Ortiz in the box, allowing Borges to step up from the spot and score the go-ahead goal.

Navas finished with four saves as Los Ticos jumped to fifth place with the victory.

Jamaica 0, Canada 0

Jamaica walked away with a home point on Sunday after forcing a scoreless draw with Canada in Kingston.

Canada was held to two shots on goal in the match with Jonathan David having the best look in total. The Lille forward looked for the bottom-left corner, but Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake dove to repel his effort before halftime.

Junior Flemmings’ header in the 49th minute struck the right post, but was the best effort for the Reggae Boyz in the match.

Kemar Lawrence’s last-gasp effort forced Maxime Crepeau into a late save, however Jamaica could take advantage of the ensuing corner kick.

Canada dropped to fourth in the group with the draw while Jamaica remains in eighth place and without a win through five matches.


  1. Johnny – I assume the US will come out with a strong attack to go after Costa Rica hard at home. Pepi, Aaronson, Weah, Adams, Mckinnie, Musah, Robinson, Dest, everyone. I suspect it will be a polar opposite performance.

    The Question I have to ask is this: Is all this rotation REALLY necessary? I mean, I expected it, and I half understand giving an understaffed lineup a shot to snatch a draw in an away game. But, given how young our team is, can they really not play this much? Is Mexico rotating their squad as much as we are?

    • Look at the teams in the European Nations League or World Cup qualifying.

      When they rotate it’s usually two, at most 3, players changed. Rotation is supposed to keep certain players as fresh as possible as long as your results are not compromised.

      With Panama. 7 was excessive and the whole thing was poorly executed.

      1. Ariolla has one asset, his relentessness. He played 90 the previous game. To then put him in hot humid Panama and expect him go 90 and still do his Energizer bunny thing was stupid.

      2. Pepi is 18. He is on the high of his life. 18 year olds think they are invulnerable. Starting him would not have been a big risk and if he had looked tired then it would have been easy enough to replace him.

      3. Musah, Lletget and Acosta gave you one dynamic player and two traffic cones. You got nothing out of that midfield and probably lost the game because of it. That is not a good use of rotation where a draw is the minimum acceptable result.

      No one is against rotation. Nothing wrong with it. It’s the incompetent application of it that people are against.

      Rotation doesn’t kill teams, incompetent managers screwing up rotation kills teams.


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