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By ESPN Staff

CONCACAF: Mexico raise qualification hopes

Mexico recorded a 2-1 win over the United States in Mexico City on Wednesday to reinvigorate their World Cup qualification hopes.

El Tri stayed fourth in the final stage of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying section but the three points edged them to within one point of the top three spots, which carry automatic qualification for next year's finals in South Africa.

The USA took an early lead in the ninth minute, as Charlie Davies finished a counter-attack with a shot from the left.

However, Javier Aguirre's Mexico reacted quickly and needed only 10 minutes to draw level with a long-range shot from Israel Castro which crashed in off the crossbar.

The game at the Estadio Azteca looked set to finish a draw, but substitute Miguel Sabah grabbed a winner for the hosts after Tim Howard was unable to hold on to Efrain Juarez's shot.

''We found it very difficult to settle on the field in the opening minutes and the United States took advantage,'' Mexico and PSV Eindhoven defender Carlos Salcido said.

''Then, we became calmer, building our offensive play and our goals finally came.

''We gained three very important points that help keep us alive in the group.''

Honduras rose to second place in the group by beating leaders Costa Rica 4-0 at home.

Carlos Costly started and finished the rout, with Carlos Pavon and Melvin Valladares scoring the goals in between for Honduras, who are now two points behind the Ticos and above the USA on goal difference.

Costly caught the Costa Rica defence napping to head home the opener after half an hour and from then on there was no way back for the visitors in San Pedro Sula.

In Port of Spain, Cornell Glen scored in the seventh minute to give Trinidad & Tobago a 1-0 win over El Salvador. The Soca Warriors drew level with their opponents on five points at the bottom of the standings - four below Mexico.

The top three teams from the group advance directly to South Africa 2010 while the fourth-placed team plays off for a berth against a team from South America.


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