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Honduras aims to beat Mexico again
by Paul Kennedy, April 1st, 2009 7AM



[HEXAGONAL] It's only the third day of World Cup 2010 qualifying in the Concacaf zone, but Mexico and Honduras meet in a critical match for both teams Wednesday in San Pedro Sula (TV: Telemundo, live, 9:30 pm ET). If one team loses, look for its coach to be on his way out.

Mexico coach Sven-Goran Eriksson gained a reprieve when the Tri beat Costa Rica, but he may not be so lucky if they fall in the Estadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

The Catrachos have a history of success against Mexico in San Pedro Sula, the industrial center of Honduras, and their hero has been Carlos Pavon, who will be available on Wednesday.

The former Los Angeles Galaxy striker scored in the 2-1 Honduras win in 1996, its first World Cup qualifying win ever over Mexico.

In 2001, he had a hat trick as the Catrachos again beat Mexico in San Pedro Sula, this time 3-1, to prompt Mexico coach Enrique Meza's immediate resignation.

Only last fall, Honduras again won in San Pedro Sula, defeating Mexico, 1-0, on an own goal to clinch first place in their semifinal group ahead of Mexico, which only edged Jamaica for second place on goal difference.

It was on the basis of the Catrachos' first-place finish that they entered in the Hexagonal with high hopes, but a 2-0 loss at Costa Rica was followed by a 1-1 tie Saturday at Trinidad & Tobago.

An error by Honduras goalie Noel Valladares allowed T&T to equalize in the 89th minute, costing Honduras two valuable away points. (Pavon had earlier scored to put the Catrachos ahead with his 50th international goal.)

It also made another victory over Mexico on Wednesday an absolute priority. If Honduras loses, look for its Colombian coach Reynaldo Rueda, to be fired.

One player who isn't in San Pedro Sula is New Mexico product Edgar Castillo. Called in as a last-minute replacement for the injured Giovanni Dos Santos, Castillo was unable to travel with Mexico to Honduras because he lost his passport. Also missing will be Ricardo Osorio, who is sidelined with the stomach flu.


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