San Pedro Sula, Honduras (Sports Network) - The final round of CONCACAF World
Cup qualifying got off to a shaky start for the United States on Wednesday as
the Americans sustained a 2-1 defeat at Honduras after Jerry Bengtson netted
the winning goal in the 79th minute.
Clint Dempsey fired the U.S. in front after 36 minutes, but the home side
leveled the match before halftime with a sensational overhead kick from Juan
The match was there for the taking as the second half wore on, and it was the
home side that took advantage with some suspect defending leading to the goal.
After failing to collect a point on Wednesday, the Americans need a win at
home against Costa Rica on March 22 to bounce back before a difficult trip to
Mexico four days later.
Both teams started slowly but it was the U.S. that found the net first when a
quality chip from Jermaine Jones was played into the path of Dempsey, who
smacked a volley past goalkeeper Noel Valladares and inside the far post.
It was the best move of the game to that point, but Honduras responded in the
40th minute with Garcia scoring on a fantastic overhead kick from 10 yards
that left U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard rooted to his spot.
Chances were at a premium after the break and the difference came 11 minutes
from time when defender Geoff Cameron allowed Boniek Garcia to slip in behind
Garcia beat both Cameron and the onrushing Howard to the ball before squaring
it to Bengtson, who rolled it into the empty net.
The Americans had won 12 of the previous 18 meetings between the two sides
prior to Wednesday's result.
The Sports Network