United States vs. Honduras  1 - 0


FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: United States stay in charge

19 June 2013 06:32

The United States have maintained their lead at the top of the CONCACAF World Cup standings with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Honduras.

AZ Alkmaar striker Jozy Altidore scored the goal for the USA with 17 minutes remaining, tucking home Fabian Johnson's cutback as the hosts notched their third-consecutive victory in CONCACAF's final round of qualifying for next year's World Cup.

With second-placed Costa Rica overcoming Panama 2-0 on Tuesday, Juergen Klinsmann's men had to win to stay top of the CONCACAF standings with the USA's triumph taking them to 13 points and maintaining their two-point lead over the Costa Ricans.

The USA dominated the World Cup qualifier at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, with 62 percent possession and 13 shots to Honduras' six.

But despite their raft of goal-scoring chances, the hosts had to wait until the 73rd minute to finally break through the Hondurans' stout defence, although Altidore did have a goal disallowed in the 60th minute for offside.

Graham Zusi was the architect of the actual goal, slipping the ball through to Johnson on the left-hand side of the box and the overlapping full-back found Altidore at the penalty spot, who finished with aplomb.

In Costa Rica, goals from Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges just after half-time clinched three points for the home side as Panama lost their second game in a row.

Ruiz scored in the 49th minute and Borges doubled the hosts' lead four minutes later thanks to an assist from the former, ensuring Costa Rica keep pressure on the USA.

Mexico is third in the CONCACAF standings with eight points, while Honduras (seven points) are fourth.


FIFA World Cup Qualifying Preview: United States v Honduras

16 June 2013 14:12

The United States will look to extend their winning run to four when they host Honduras in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Juergen Klinsmann's side have impressed over the course of June, following a 4-3 friendly triumph over Germany with crucial qualifying wins against Jamaica and Panama.

That means the US top the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying with 10 points from their five matches and, at the halfway point of the final round of qualification, they lead Costa Rica and Mexico by two points.

Honduras are also well within striking distance, sitting fourth on seven points, and they know any result they can get at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah will be beneficial to their hopes of reaching the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Key to the impressive form of the US this month has been AZ forward Jozy Altidore, who has scored in each of their three wins.

Altidore - fresh off a season where he scored 23 times in 33 Eredivisie appearances - has combined well with Tottenham's Clint Dempsey, and the pair's goals have been crucial for Klinsmann's side.

The German manager has stuck with a settled side in recent times and this has paid dividends, as the US look set to qualify for their seventh World Cup in a row.

Honduras will enter the match on the back of a 2-2 friendly draw with Nicaragua on Saturday, while they beat Jamaica 2-0 in their last qualifier.

Bonieck Garcia and Roger Rojas scored in that win as they kept their unbeaten run at home alive in the fourth round of qualifying. Honduras' struggles have come on the road though, with both of their defeats in the fourth round coming away from home.

The reverse fixture was played in February as Honduras came from behind to defeat the US 2-1 thanks to goals from Juan Garcia and Jerry Bengtson.

Honduras - who won just a single point at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals - are aiming to qualify for consecutive World Cups for the first time ever.

The US will fancy their chances of continuing Honduras' poor away run though, as they look to build on their excellent form this month.

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