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Costa Rica home in on World Cup after beating Honduras

© Reuters Limited 2001

Costa Rica won 3-2 away to Honduras in a pulsating match on Sunday to home in on a place at next year's World Cup.

Costa Rica's Rolando Fonseca (7) shoots and scores against a Honduran defense wall.
Photo Jorge Silva, Reuters
Mauricio Solis settled the game in the 83rd minute after the Ticos had raced to a 2-0 lead in 15 minutes only to be pegged back to 2-2 before halftime.

Costa Rica, whose only World Cup appearance so far was in 1990, went top of the final stage of the CONCACAF qualifying competition with 13 points from six games, ahead of the United States on goals scored.

Honduras, who reached the finals in 1982, remained third but only goal difference now separates them from Jamaica.

The top three teams go to Japan and South Korea next year.

Honduras, buoyed by their 3-1 win over Mexico ten days ago, began confidently but awful defending saw them conceded two goals in four minutes.

English-based striker Paulo Wanchope beat three defenders to a free kick to head the visitors ahead after nine minutes and Rolando Fonseca added a second four minutes later after the Honduran defence missed several chances to clear the ball.

Two goals by Amado Guevara put the free-scoring Hondurans level by time. First, he converted a penalty awarded for handball then snapped up a rebound after Costa Rica goalkeeper could only a parry a long-range shot by Danilo Turcios.

Honduras dominated after the break but Lonnis denied them with three top-class saves.

With seven minutes left, the hard-working Wanchope won the ball in the corner and fed Solis, who scored with a low left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area.

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