Soccer-Mexico suffer another Costly defeat in Honduras
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras, April 1 |
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras, April 1 (Reuters) - Carlos Costly scored twice to help Honduras beat Mexico 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, the second time they have beaten Sven-Goran Eriksson's team at home in six months.
Costly's burly striking partner Carlos Pavon, who scored a hat-trick when Honduras beat Mexico by the same score in a qualifier eight years ago and has been recalled at the age of 35, added the third.
Honduras have four points from three games in the final stage of the CONCACAF qualifiers, played as a six-team mini league, and are third. Mexico are fourth with three.
The defeat meant that former England manager Eriksson's future will once again be the subject of speculation.
The top three sides qualify for South Africa 2010 and the fourth plays off against the fifth team from South America for another place.
Pressure on the Swede had lifted with a convincing 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Saturday but the respite lasted only 17 minutes when Costly, who plays for English Championship (second division) side Birmingham City, slipped the ball past Guillermo Ochoa.
Mexico's predicament worsened when Pavon, standing in for the injured David Suazo, chested down Mauricio Sabillon's pass to add the second two minutes before halftime.
Mexico lost their composure and only managing to test Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares in the 56th minute when he saved Carlos Vela's shot.
Costly, who scored twice against Mexico in a 2-1 win at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2007, made it 3-0 in the 79th minute with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area.
Nery Castillo pulled one back with a penalty three minutes later and Pavon nearly added a fourth in injury-time when his shot was saved by Ochoa.
Mexico lost to Honduras in a previous stage of the competition last October at the same stadium and only sneaked into the final round on goal difference from Jamaica, who also beat them.
Mexico have yet to win a competitive match away in five attempts under the Swede.
"In the first half they were ruthless, they had two chances and converted both," said Mexico midfielder Andres Guardado.
(Reporting by Carlos Calvo in Mexico City, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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