Mexico vs. Honduras: Score, Reaction from World Cup 2018 Qualifier

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2016

Mexico's Diego Reyes (L) vies for the ball with Honduras' Alberth Elis during their Russia 2018 World Cup football qualifier match in Mexico City, on September 6, 2016. / AFP / Alfredo ESTRELLA        (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
ALFREDO ESTRELLA/Getty Images

Mexico entered Tuesday night's 2018 CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Honduras with the top spot in Group A locked up, and it played a fairly mundane game as the two sides played to a scoreless draw at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

By virtue of the tie and superior goal differential, Honduras finished second in Group A and advanced to the Hexagonal round of qualifying as it just edged out a Canadian side that dispatched El Salvador 3-1 on Tuesday night. 

Here's a look at the final Group A standings now that the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying has come to a close: 

RankCountryWDL+/-Points
1Mexico5101216
2Honduras22208
3Canada213-37
4El Salvador024-92
Source: FIFA.com

As expected, Honduras came out with far more fire than the opposition in a game that amounted to nothing more than a formality for Mexico.  

Seeking to put the clamps on the second spot in Group A, Honduras applied a few waves of attacking pressure throughout the first 25 minutes and outshot the Mexicans 5-1 in that span. 

However, early runs and dead-ball opportunities yielded little in the way of quality chances, and the two sides entered halftime knotted at zero as neither side wielded a particularly strong sense of urgency. 

ESPN FC's Cesar Hernandez provided a concise overview of the game's relatively uninspiring first frame: 

Mexico ramped up its offensive energy over the first 10 minutes of the second half, and it showed when Hirving Lozano and Andres Guardado paced an attack that nearly found twine on several occasions and made Honduras start to sweat. 

But despite El Tri's best efforts, a go-ahead goal proved elusive, even though Honduras settled back and appeared to embrace a strategy that hinged on keeping things level at nil-nil. 

And while that strategy provided some aesthetically displeasing results, it paid off for a side that had its eyes on the final round of World Cup qualifying. 

Next up for Mexico is a meeting with the United States on Nov. 11. 

After the U.S. squashed Trinidad and Tobago, 4-0, on Tuesday night at EverBank field to clinch the top spot in Group C, it earned the right to host Mexico in the opening game of Hex play when qualifying resumes in just over two months. 

The bad news for El Tri is that the key clash will take place in Columbus, Ohio, where the U.S. is 4-0 against Mexico with all four victories coming by a 2-0 margin, according to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl

And after Mexico defeated the Americans 3-2 at the Rose Bowl in the 2015 CONCACAF Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann's side will undoubtedly be focused on exacting revenge behind the play of rising superstar Christian Pulisic.