Honduras vs. Mexico, 2014 World Cup qualifying: Final score 2-2, El Tri falls apart after Chicharito brace

Bob Levey

'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez was brilliant on Friday night, scoring twice for Mexico, but his defense let him down. El Tri gave up two late goals to Honduras, who earned a vital point.

Honduras have earned four points from their first two matches in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, defeating the United States in February and earning an important draw on Friday. Mexico went 2-0 ahead early in San Pedro Sula, but the home side put in a surprising and spirited comeback to earn a 2-2 draw.

Javier Hernandez opened the scoring 28 minutes in, following a good spell of play for Honduras. The home side had a very solid first half, creating a number of chances, but it was Mexico who struck first. Andres Guardado set up the goal with a cross, and Chicharito was in the perfect spot to head past Noel Valladares and send Mexico into the locker room up 1-0. The home side had eight shots in the first half, including a couple of good opportunities after the goal, but struggled to hit the target repeatedly.

Not long into the second half, Chicharito made Honduras pay for their poor finishing with a second goal, this time on a set piece. Carlos Salcido provided the delivery and Hernandez made a perfect run to the near post to poke in his team's second goal in the 54th minute.

Honduras pulled a goal back in the 77th minute on a set piece, though it felt at the time like a comeback was a way off. Carlo Costly rose to meet Mario Martinez's corner and nodded past Guillermo Ochoa at the near post, stunning Mexico. The visitors didn't recover from the goal, and stunningly gave away a penalty just a minute later.

'Maza' Francisco Rodriguez gave away the spot kick, clearly bringing down Costly in the penalty area. A poor penalty by Jerry Bengston was saved by Ochoa, but he slapped the ball right back into Bengston's path, and the striker finished his follow-up attempt to level the match at 2-2.

Neither side looked much like scoring from then until the end of the match, but Honduras were the better side in the dying minutes, and held onto their point easily.

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