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Mar 22, 2013

Mexico wastes 2-goal lead in Honduras

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- Honduras scored twice in three minutes and drew 2-2 with Mexico on Friday to increase its lead in the final CONCACAF qualification round for the 2014 World Cup.

Mexico led comfortably with goals from Javier Hernandez, at 28 and 54 minutes, but the Hondurans tied it with goals from Carlo Costly in the 77th minute and Jerry Bengston off a penalty in the 80th minute.

Honduras leads the qualifying group with four points after two games, while Mexico settled for its second draw after starting the final stage with a 0-0 draw against Jamaica.

"There are ways to win and our behavior in the first half was not the best to win; this must be saved in the hard drive for future meetings, "said Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez. "The important thing is the attitude, the desire and character to go down 2-0 and go forward for an equalizer."

"I think after trailing through our mistakes, we achieved what was important," said Costly.

Hernandez opened the scoring with a header and then finished off a pass from Carlos Salcido to provide a lead for Mexico, which seemed on target for its first victory in Honduras since 1993.

But Costly got a goal back with a header and two minutes later was down in the box by Severo Meza.

Bengston took the penalty only to see it saved by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, but tapped in the rebound and tied the score.

"We wanted to win," said Honduras' Roger Espinoza. "The tie is fine, but we wanted to win. "

In the previous qualifying stage, Mexico had swept six wins in as many games, and was disappointed in the first game of this round to draw 0-0 with Jamaica. Although El Tri raised its performance on Friday, it is still far from its best.

"I'm upset yes," said Mexican coach Jose Manuel De la Torre. "The team put it a great effort from the beginning. ... We lacked precision."

With his two goals, Hernandez reached 30 with the national team to tie Luis Roberto Alves "Zague" with the sixth most of all time. Jared Borgetti is the leader with 46.

Mexico next plays Tuesday against the United States in the Azteca Stadium.

The Mexicans took the first chance of the game on six minutes when Javier Aquino shook a defender and took a shot inside the area that was slightly off.

Honduras responded with a pair of middle-distance shots that did not have good aim, one from Emilio Izaguirre and then another of Mario Martinez at 13.

Mexico was again dangerous with Giovani Dos Santos and took the lead soon after when Andrés Guardado sent a cross into the heart of the area where Hernandez was ahead of defender Maynor Figueroa. Hernandez hit a header that hit the left post and in.

In the second half, Mexico had an opportunity to expand the lead but a header by Jesus Zavala was diverted by Valladares for a corner.

The second goal came soon after when Salcido took a free kick on the left side and his shot was to center of the area, where Hernandez got the leg to divert ball.

Honduras pulled within one when Costly took advantage of poor defensive marking and scored a header that hit the right post of the goal.

After that came Meza's foul on Costly and the equalizer following the penalty.

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