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Mexico thumps El Salvador to qualify
by Paul Kennedy, October 11th, 2009 7AM



[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING] Mexico became the first Concacaf team to clinch a berth in the World Cup finals when it beat El Salvador, 4-1, on Saturday at Mexico City's Azteca Stadium. The result eliminated El Salvador from contention, meaning that Honduras and Costa Rica have clinched no worse than fourth place -- and a berth in next month's Concacaf-South America playoff.

The win was Mexico's fifth in a row under Javier Aguirre, Mexico's fourth coach since the 2006 World Cup.

The game was stopped in the second minute at the request of Salvadoran goalkeeper Miguel Montes because a swarm of bees residing in his net.

Chicago Fire striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco put the Tri ahead in the 17th minute, but Mexico did not break the game open until late in the second half.

Key=*clinched first place.
Key=*clinched first place.

*Mexico 9 6 0 3 16 10 18
* USA 9 6 1 2 17 11 19
Costa Rica 9 5 0 4 13 13 15
Honduras 9 4 1 4 16 11 13
El Salvador 9 2 2 5 9 14 8
Trin. & Tobago 9 1 2 6 8 20 5
(The top three teams advance to World Cup 2010; the fourth-place team faces the fifth-place team from South America in a playoff.)

Key=*clinched berth in World Cup finals.

October 10
Mexico 4 El Salvador 1
Honduras 2 USA 3
Costa Rica 4 Trin. & Tobago 0

October 14
El Salvador-Honduras
Trin. & Tobago-Mexico
USA-Costa Rica

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