In the final match of the fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Mexico and Honduras played out a goalless draw. El Tri was already assured of a spot in the Hex, while the draw guaranteed Honduras’s own ticket to the next round.
Mexico came into this game with five wins out of five in qualifying and first place in the group long since locked up. Nevertheless, after poor performances in international competitions this summer as well as an unconvincing showing against El Salvador in qualifying last Friday, discontent was building among the fans in the Azteca.
In fact, by the end of the game – despite going unbeaten though this six-game group stage – Mexico was booed off the field while scattered chants of “Fuera Osorio” (Osorio Out) were heard around the stadium.
Honduras was the better team in the first half, with Mexico unable to hold on to the ball as countless passes went astray. The Catrachos found the first chance in the 5th minute, when Alfredo Talavera had to come to the edge of the box to tackle the ball away from Alberth Elis.
In the second half, Honduras began to tire and the visitors settled back into a more defensive posture. Mexico began to find chances, but the goal just would not come. Perhaps their best chance came around the hour mark, when Ángel Zaldívar slid the ball across the six-yard box for Hirving Lozano, only for the Pachuca man to sky his shot over the bar.
El Tri threw everything forward in the final minutes as they looked to break the deadlock but Donis Escober denied Andrés Guardado’s effort from close range and then Héctor Moreno failed to find the target with his stoppage-time header.
With the 0-0 draw, Mexico reaches 16 points while Honduras reaches eight.
Mexico: Alfredo Talavera, Jesús Dueñas (Orbelín Pineda 70′), Hugo Ayala, Héctor Moreno, Miguel Layún, Javier Aquino (Elías Hernández 84′), Diego Reyes, Héctor Herrera, Andrés Guardado, Ángel Sepúlveda (Hirving Lozano 46′), Ángel Zaldívar.
Honduras: Donis Escober, Brayan Beckeles, Maynor Figueroa, Johnny Palacios, Johnny Leverón, Emilio Izaguirre, Alfredo Mejía (Oliver Morazán 88′), Jorge Claros, Mario Martínez (Óscar García 59′), Romell Quioto (Anthony Lozano 71′), Alberth Elis.
Group Table – Group A