Mexico advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 Gold Cup with a 1-0 victory against Honduras in Thursday’s quarterfinal game. El Tri once again looked less than convincing, but they did enough to get past a Honduras side that needed a forfeit win to even make it out of the group stage.
Mexico made seven changes to the starting lineup that beat Curaçao in their last game, and the game started brightly for El Tri as they took the lead in just the fourth minute. Jesús Dueñas sent a low ball towards the back post, where Rodolfo Pizarro was waiting unmarked to send the ball home.
The early lead gave Mexico confidence and they had chances to add a second, while Honduras tried to disrupt their buildup. Jesús Molina had a good chance just before the half-hour mark, but his attempt went over the bar.
The Catrachos, who had shown little going forward in the first half, nearly tied the game after the break. A free kick gave Honduras a dangerous chance, but Jesús Corona was there to make the save on Romell Quioto’s attempt.
Corona was again called into action in the 54th minute to stop Carlos Lanza, and then again in the 66th to clear away a corner kick that almost turned into an olímpico. Honduras knocked on the door but couldn’t find the breakthrough, with Alfredo Mejía sending a last-gasp chance wide of the post in stoppage time.
Mexico ultimately was not punished for some sloppy play or for their inability to score an insurance goal, and they will advance to the semifinals to face Jamaica in what will be the second meeting between those two this tournament. They previously played to a 0-0 draw in the group stage.
With the 1-0 win, Mexico advances to the semifinals while Honduras is eliminated.
Mexico: José de Jesús Corona, Jair Pereira, Hugo Ayala, Jesús Gallardo, Edson Álvarez, Rodolfo Pizarro (Raúl López 91′), Jesús Molina (Luis Rodríguez 65′), Jesús Dueñas, Ángel Sepúlveda (Erick Torres 75′), Orbelín Pineda, Elías Hernández.
Honduras: Luis López, Maynor Figueroa, Ever Alvarado, Henry Figueroa, Carlos Sánchez (Óscar Boniek García 45′), Félix Crisanto, Bryan Acosta (Sergio Pena 68′), Alfredo Mejía, Romell Quioto, Alberth Elis, Ovidio Lanza (Alexander López 73′).