TEGUCIGALPA Jan 27 El Salvador qualified for
this year's CONCACAF Gold Cup despite losing 2-0 to neighbours
Honduras in a qualifying match.
Striker Carlos Pavon put Honduras ahead with a penalty in
the 33rd minute after a foul on Emil Martinez and substitute
Marvin Chavez rifled in a 30-metre shot midway through the
second half of Monday's game.
Honduras, who had already qualified, finished Central
American Group A with a 100 percent record despite being unable
to field European-based players including midfielder Wilson
Palacios, striker David Suazo and defender Maynor Figueroa.
They could not be released because the qualifiers, which are
all being played in Honduras, fall outside the dates allocated
for internationals by soccer's world governing body FIFA.
El Salvador held on to second place after Nicaragua could
manage only a 1-1 draw with Belize in the other match.
Nicaragua finished third with two points and will play off
against Guatemala or Panama -- who meet on Tuesday to decide the
runner-up in Group B -- for another place in the finals.
Costa Rica have already qualified as Group B winners.
The Gold Cup will be held in the United States in July. The
hosts, Mexico and Canada qualify automatically while Jamaica,
Grenada, Guadeloupe and Cuba have gone through from the
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Buenos Aires; editing by Ken