[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING]
Four days after being the goat, Carlos Pavon
, the elder statesman of the Honduran national
team, scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory at El Salvador that will send the Catrachos to the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. Argentina and Slovakia were also victorious on the road
to clinch berths in the World Cup finals, and Switzerland, hit hard by a stomach virus that sidelined three regulars, earned a 0-0 at home against Israel to claim the dramatic day's fourth ticket
to the World Cup.
Pavon, whose missed penalty kick late in the Honduras-USA cost the Catrachos a shot at pulling even at 3-3, broke a scoreless tie when he scored the winner in the
Honduras then waited for the outcome of the USA-Costa Rica game. The Ticos were winning, 2-0, when Pavon scored, but late goals by Michael
and Jonathan Bornstein
dropped Costa Rica back into a tie for third place with Honduras, which won the tiebreaker.
goal set off cries of "Mundialistas!", "Mundialistas!" across Honduras. URUGUAY-ARGENTINA (0-1).
All Argentina needed to do was tie Uruguay in
Montevideo and it would clinch fourth place in South America.
But the Albicelestes clinched with a win thanks to a goal by sub Mario Bolatti
the 84th minute after a scramble in front of the Uruguayan goal. The goal came shortly after Uruguay defender Martin Caceres
was sent off.
Afterward, Argentina coach Diego Maradona
went into a profanity-laced attack on the media.
"To those who treated me like garbage, I say were are
in World Cup with full honors," he said. POLAND-SLOVAKIA (0-1).
Four days after a crushing 2-0 loss at home to Slovenia, Slovakia recovered and
captured a must-win game at Poland, winning, 1-0, in the snow on an own goal by Seweryn Gancarczyk
in the third minute.
Heavy snow made it
impossible for either team to play.
"I love these players," said Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss
. "In these qualifiers we have played well and had
a little bit of luck. Everybody made a contribution and we made the whole of Slovakia happy. This is a fantastic feeling." SWITZERLAND-ISRAEL (0-0).
, the former Bayern Munich coach, will take his native Switzerland to the World Cup after a 0-0 tie with Israel was enough to earn it a
one-point advantage over Greece.
Three of his first-choice starters -- goalkeeper Diego Benaglio
, midfielder Benjamin Huggel
and forward Alexander Frei
-- couldn't play because of a stomach bug.