El Salvador defeat Panama, Honduras v Costa Rica and Mexico v Canada end in draws

Published on 08 October 2021

Canada’s goal scorer Jonathan Osorio (#21) chased by teammate Alphonso Davies (#19) after they combined to create the equaliser in their Concacaf World Cup Qualifier Qatar 2022 match. (Photo: Concacaf Media)

San Salvador, El Salvador—A first-half conversion by Enrico Duenas-Hernandez in the 37th minute was enough for El Salvador to walk away with all three points at home at Estadio Cuscatlan against Panama. Playing in wet conditions, the teams had the weather to contend with along with each other.

Joaquin Rivas latched onto a through-ball in the 22nd minute and the Panamanian goalkeeper, Luis Mejia, saved his fierce effort towards goal. Panama had some tame efforts on goal with no immediate threat to the home team.

Jairo Henriquez slipped in a ball for Duenas-Hernandez, who took a touch and let off a powerful right-footed drive towards goal. Mejia managed to save but only back onto the boots of the initial shot taker, whose second attempt went wide of the keeper and into the back of the net in the 37th minute of play giving the home team the lead.

Panama settled for crosses inside the box but without success. El Salvador had a good opportunity to extend their lead when Rivas gathered a loose ball inside the penalty area, but the keeper was as good as they come, making an excellent save.

Field conditions weren’t perfect for fluid passing football and the result saw many balls being played wide and crosses going into the box.

Panama could not muster up a reply and El Salvador would hold on at home to take maximum points. They sit in fifth position, one spot under Panama with a superior goal difference.

El Salvador will next travel to Costa Rica and Panama will return home to face team USA.

Honduras 0-0 Costa Rica

San Pedro Sulla, Honduras—Costa Rica and Honduras played to an exciting nil-nil draw at Estadio Olimpico on Thursday night.

Honduras, like Costa Rica, were in search of their first victory in the final round of qualification. The visitors placed the home team under opening pressure.

Jonathan Moya seemed to have given Costa Rica the opener in the fourth minute after he turned in a cross from Ricardo Blanco from within the six-yard box, but celebrations were short lived after the referee’s assistant flagged him for offside.

In the ninth minute, it was Joel Campbell with a free kick onto the head of the towering defender Kendall Watson—a good goal-bound header that was met with a brilliant save by the Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez.

Costa Rica continued to dump crosses into the area to cause problems for the home team, but Honduras dealt with that while at the same time struggling to connect passes of their own.

Efforts from Hondurans Alberth Elis and Kervin Arriaga went abegging but signaled intent from the home side. Alexander Lopez had an ambitious left-footed effort from deep and Costa Rica’s Ricardo Blanco had to intercept a cross from Elis, as Honduras picked up steam in the later stages of the first half.

Honduras came out in the second half eager to get the victory. Elis set one up for Rigoberto Rivas on the top of the 18-yard box but he couldn’t get the connection he wanted, and eventually sent his shot high over the crossbar.  Bryan Moya had a go at the Costa Rican custodian, Keylor Navas, with a quick turn and strike towards goal. Navas, however, answered with a saved that lives up to his reputation.

Costa Rica tried again as Campbell delivered yet another telling ball but this time the header from Francisco Calvo missed the target.

Two chances in the dying moments seemed to be the breakthrough Honduras sought. Diego Rodriguez lifted a cross into the box, Kervin Arriaga rose highest but just couldn’t steer his header towards goal from within the area in the 85th minute.

In the 88th minute, Arriaga eager to make up for his missed effort moments earlier was awarded a free kick 25 yards out. His right-footed effort was top-corner bound, but some brilliant keeping from the Costa Rican denied Honduras the ending they wanted.

Both teams have identical records, with four games played, three draws and one loss. Costa Rica sits one spot above Honduras having conceded fewer goals.

Honduras will travel to Mexico and Costa Rica will host El Salvador on October 10.

Mexico 1-1 Canada

MEXICO CITY, Mexico—Mexico and Canada played to a one-all draw when the teams met at the Estadio Azteca.

It was not until the 21st minute of play that Mexico’s Jorge Sanchez opened up the scoring in the 21st minute of play with a brilliant shot to the goal, assisted by winger Herving Lazano.

This, however, did not deter the Canadians who increased force on the Mexican defense and 22 minutes later, in the 43rd minute, the Canadians equalized thanks to midfielder Jonathan Osorio.

The Canadians continued with the same momentum, but the brilliant keeping from Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa denied the Canadians more goals. As emotions rose, so did the administering of several yellow cards to players of both teams.

At the end of regular time, the teams had to settle for a 1-1 draw, putting Mexico in second place just behind the Americans and Canada settling for the third sport.

Mexico will take on Honduras October 10 and Canada travel to Jamaica.

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