Neither Honduras not El Salvador could be called sharp or adventurous on Friday night at SunLife Stadium in Miami, FL, but they were plenty intense and dramatic. As is always the case when these two rivals meet, the match was physical, sometimes dirty and in the end provided one of the great finishes of the tournament as the Catrachos came away with a 1-0 win.
Both sides had chances in the first half, and were relatively dangerous when they stopped hacking away at each other, but they focused more on clattering with one another than they did look to play. Even the best chances came off of deflections or scrums in the box as they usually resulted in hurried, off target shots from 15 yards out.
It looked like Kevin Santamaria had won the match in the 87th minute when he found space from 25 yards and hit an absolute bullet that had Donis Escobar beat, but it hit the post and El Salvador was left wondering if they might have to settle for a draw.
Little did they know, they would have to settle for a loss.
Jorge Claros got a ball just to the right of the goal in the 92nd minute and was completely unmarked. Putting the slew of missed opportunities out of mind, Claros finished clinically, drilling the ball across the keeper to net the match-winner for Honduras and stun their rivals.
With the win, Honduras moves to the top of Group B with six points. Haiti is in second place with three after winning earlier in the day and the Haitians play the Salvadorans on the final day of group play, setting up a huge clash for the final automatic qualifying place in the group. Trinidad and Tobago is also on one point and will play Honduras on Monday.