Mexico Secure Copa America Spot After Dramatic CNL Win vs. Honduras

Mexico has qualified for the 2024 Copa America after a thrilling comeback against Honduras in the second leg of their CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal on Tuesday. El Tri overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to win 4-2 on aggregate and book their place in next summer’s tournament, which will be held in the United States.

Mexico dominated the first half at Estadio Azteca

Mexico came into the game knowing they needed to score at least two goals to force extra time, and they wasted no time in putting pressure on the Honduran defense. The hosts opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Hirving Lozano curled a superb free kick into the top corner from 25 yards out. The PSV winger celebrated his goal by holding up a shirt with the number 13, in tribute to his teammate Guillermo Ochoa, who missed the game due to injury.

Mexico doubled their lead in the 28th minute when Santiago Gimenez headed in a cross from Orbelin Pineda. The Feyenoord striker, who has been in fine form this season, scored his fifth goal in six games for El Tri. Honduras was struggling to cope with Mexico’s pace and intensity and barely threatened Luis Malagon’s goal in the first half.

Honduras fought back in the second half

The visitors came out with more determination in the second half and pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute. Anthony Lozano, who had scored in the first leg, pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired a low shot past Malagon. The goal gave Honduras some hope, as they now only needed one more goal to advance on away goals.

However, Mexico restored their two-goal cushion in the 67th minute, when Raul Jimenez converted a penalty after he was fouled by Maynor Figueroa. The Fulham forward, who came on as a substitute, calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. The penalty was awarded after a VAR review, which confirmed that Figueroa had made contact with Jimenez’s leg.

Honduras did not give up and scored again in the 79th minute when Bryan Rochez headed in a corner from Romell Quioto. The goal set up a tense finale, as Honduras once again only needed one more goal to go through. Mexico had to defend with ten men for the final minutes after Carlos Salcedo was sent off for a second yellow card.

Mexico holds on to secure qualification

Despite Honduras’ efforts, Mexico managed to hold on to their lead and secure their qualification for the 2024 Copa America. The final whistle sparked scenes of joy and relief among the Mexican players and fans, who celebrated their dramatic victory at the Estadio Azteca. Mexico will now join the United States, Canada, and Jamaica in the Nations League semifinals, which will be played in March 2024. The four teams will also represent CONCACAF in the Copa America, along with two more teams that will be determined by a playoff round.

Honduras, meanwhile, will have to settle for a place in the playoff round, where they will face one of the other quarterfinal losers: Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, or Panama. The playoff round will also be played in March 2024, in Frisco, Texas. The two winners of the playoff round will join the other six CONCACAF teams in the Copa America, which will feature 16 teams from North and South America.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts