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Costa Rica, Honduras seek World Cup berth

Costa Rica, Honduras seek World Cup berth

The United States has already secured a berth in its sixth straight World Cup, but can still help determine Wednesday whether Costa Rica or Honduras claim the third and final automatic qualifying spot from the region.
Mexico and the United States booked their places on Saturday.
Costa Rica has 15 points and Honduras has 13. Costa Rica plays the U.S. Wednesday in Washington D.C., and Honduras is at neighbor El Salvador. Mexico plays a largely meaningless match at Trinidad and Tobago, the last-place team in the North and Central America and Caribbean region.
A victory will guarantee Costa Rica third place. However, a draw gives Honduras a chance.
If Honduras wins _ and Costa Rica draws or loses _ Honduras will be making its second World Cup appearance. If Costa Rica and Honduras tie on points, Honduras gets the nod because it has a better goal difference.
"We are going to El Salvador with plans to guarantee our participation in the World Cup," said Reinaldo Rueda, Honduras' Colombian coach.
The team that fails to finish third faces a two-leg playoff on Nov. 14 and 18 against the No. 5 team from South America. That could be Argentina, Uruguay or Ecuador. The winner of that series gets another berth.
Costa Rica is trying to make its third straight appearance, and Honduras has made it only once _ in Spain in 1982.
New Costa Rica coach Rene Simoes made a winning debut on Saturday, beating Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 just a few weeks after replacing fired Rodrigo Kenton. He will field strikers Alvaro Saborio and Esteban Sirias against the United States, as well a few veteran players he called up after taking over.
The U.S. is likely to be without injured midfielder Clint Dempsey.
Honduras is probably the sentimental favorite.
The impoverished Central America country has been beset by political unrest since June 28 when the military detained president Manuel Zelaya and sent him into exile. Reaching the World Cup would offer some temporary relief from the political stalemate.
"Reaching the World Cup is a huge obligation we have, a big debt we owe to the Honduran people," Rueda said.


Updated : 2021-10-19 11:47 GMT+08:00