Honduras advance to quarters

FIREWORKS::Honduras defeated their old rivals El Salvador, while Jean-Eudes Maurice scored twice to give Haiti a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago

Reuters, MIAMI

Sun, Jul 14, 2013 - Page 18

An injury-time winner from Jorge Claros gave Honduras a 1-0 victory over old rivals El Salvador on Friday and sealed a place in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

They became the second team to secure a quarter-final spot, after Group A leaders Panama on Thursday.

Honduras lead Group B with a maximum six points from two games, with Haiti, who beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 on Friday, second on three points.

El Salvador and Trinidad both have just a single point ahead of the final round of games.

A crowd of nearly 28,000 turned out for the clash of the Central American neighbors and the Honduran fans went wild in the 21st minute when Mario Berrios collected the ball, turned his marker and curled a magnificent shot into the top corner.

However, US referee Jair Marrufo ruled that Berrios had been narrowly offside, canceling out what would have been the goal of the tournament so far.

After that moment of controversy the game became increasingly scrappy, with both sides pushing forward with urgency, but little poise.

Three minutes from the end of normal time, El Salvador went close to a winner when substitute Kevin Santamaria struck the post with a sweet left-foot drive from the edge of the area.

That prompted a wave of Honduras attacks and El Salvador finally succumbed when, after a free-kick was cleared, Eder Delgado hit the ball into the box and Claros turned and fired home.

Earlier, Haiti forward Jean-Eudes Maurice scored twice to give his side a 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Maurice, who plays in France with Le Mans, pounced in the 16th minute after Trinidad ’keeper Jan Michael Williams parried a fierce drive from Jean Junior Monuma Constant and slotted home the loose ball.

Trinidad struggled to find any fluency in the first half, but came out aggressively after the interval and went close when Kenwyne Jones headed against the woodwork.

However, Haiti, constantly a threat on the break, made sure of their win in the 53rd minute when Yves Desmarets burst down the left and his low cross ricocheted to Maurice, who blasted the ball home.

Darryl Roberts wasted a good chance for Trinidad near the end, but Haiti emerged triumphant from the all-Caribbean clash to move to three points from two games, leaving their opponents bottom of the group with a single point.

In tomorrow’s final round of games in Group B, El Salvador face Haiti, while Honduras take on Trinidad and Tobago.