Copa Centroamericana: Honduras is first to advance

Honduras, which will face the USA March 24 in a critical Hexagonal match, became the first team to qualify for the 2017 Gold Cup from the Copa Centroamericana when it beat host Panama, 1-0, on Eddie Hernandez's first-half goal.

The Catrachos started only three players -- Donis Escober, Henry Figueroa and Jorge Claros -- who started in their second Hexagonal match, a 3-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago.

They lead the Copa Centroamericana with three wins in three games. The top four teams in the six-team tournament will advance to the Gold Cup and the fifth-place team will face Haiti in a playoff for the 12th and final berth in the tournament.

Copa Centroamericana:
Honduras 2 Nicaragua 1
Costa Rica 0 El Salvador 0
Panama 0 Belize 0
Costa Rica 3 Belize 0
Honduras 2 El Salvador 1
Panama 2 Nicaragua 1
Panama 0 Honduras 1
El Salvador 3 Belize 1
Costa Rica 0 Nicaragua 0
Standings: Honduras 9; Costa Rica 5, El Salvador 4, Panama 4, Nicaragua 1, Belize 1.
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