Costa Rica clinches, Honduras blows lead

[HEXAGONAL: Matchday 8] While the USA pulled away from Mexico in Columbus, the other two Hexagonal matches both ended in ties thanks to stoppage-time equalizers. Costa Rica's 1-1 tie with Jamaica meant that the Ticos had to hold off celebrating their qualification for an hour until the result of the Honduras-Panama game was in: a 2-2 tie.

The Ticos appeared to become the first Concacaf team to qualify when they were leading Jamaica, 1-0, in Kingston until Jermaine Anderson, plucked from Jamaica's local league, scored in stoppage time to keep the Reggae Boyz still mathematically alive heading into their Oct. 11 match against the USA in Kansas City with just four points in eight games.

Costa Rica, which would have clinched with a win of its own and the U.S. win, still clinched with a tie when Panama failed to beat Honduras in Tegucigalpa, but two goals from the Colorado Rapids' Gabriel Torres earned the Canaleros a 2-2 tie that moved them ahead of Mexico into fourth place in the Hexagonal on goals scored.

Randall Brenes had put Costa Rica ahead in the 75th minute when he took advantage of a mistake by Jamaican keeper Richard McCallum, replacing the suspended Donovan Ricketts, to score with a left-footed shot.

The Ticos were also without their starting keeper. Keylor Navas was suspended for yellow-card accumulation and replaced by Patrick Pemberton.

Honduras went ahead on Carlos Costly's 28th minute goal and Wilson Palacios matched Torres' golazo with a brilliant individual effort of his own to put the Catrachos ahead, 2-1, before Torres scored his second goal in stoppage.

The result increases Honduras edge on the fourth-place team to three points, but it would have been five points with a win. The only way the Catrachos will clinch on Matchday 9 is if they beat Costa Rica in San Jose and Mexico and Panama play to a tie.
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