USA Win Thriller in Honduras 3-2 to Clinch Spot in 2010 World Cup

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IOctober 11, 2009

On October 10, the United States national team went into the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula trying to get to a sixth straight World Cup, but they they had to take on a Honduran national side that has been trying to get into their first World Cup since 1982.

Due to the recent political problems in Honduras, security was extremely tight for the United States national team, but Honduras wanted to win this match to give their nation something to be proud of as they continue to attempt to qualify.

Early on in the match, the United States got several good opportunities in the Honduras end, but weren't able to get anything on Honduran keeper Noel Valladares.

But Honduras started to go into their high powered attack soon afterwards, getting several good opportunities on United States keeper Tim Howard, but to no avail.

The United States got their best opportunity in the first half during the 32nd minute when Charlie Davies received a cross from Stuart Holden and nailed a header that initially was stopped by Valladares, but Davies got a rebound and missed a wide open net by shooting over the bar.

And with that, the United States and Honduras went into halftime scoreless.

After halftime, Honduras immediately went onto the attack and got United States defender Oguchi Onyewu to commit a foul from a very dangerous position.

And with the great positioning, Honduras were able to deliver as Julio Leon delivered a perfect free kick into the top left corner of the net to give Honduras a 1-0 lead.

After the goal, the United States went back onto the attack and were able to get a goal from an unlikely source.

That source was Conor Casey, who was able to head in a ball from Davies before knocking down Valladares, which knotted the game at one.

And with the goal, the United States showed more confidence as they continued spending time on the Honduran side of the field and were rewarded for their hard work in the 65th minute when Casey once again was able to find the net as he was able to score on a Landon Donovan cross to make it 2-1 in favor of the US.

Just four minutes after that, Donovan scored on a free kick to make it 3-1 in favor of the United States, and some Honduras fans started to leave thinking that the match was over.

But it wasn't, as there were 20 minutes plus stoppage time remaining in the match, and in the 78th minute, Honduras were able to capitalize on the United States defense as Rambo DeLeon was able to put his shot beyond Howard, and reduced the Honduran deficit by one as the score was now 3-2.

And eight minutes later, Jonathen Spector got called for a handball inside of the box, giving Honduras a penalty and a chance to tie the game.

But, Honduras caught a terrible break as Carlos Pavon's shot went over the bar, and with the miss on the penalty, the game remained 3-2 in favor of the United States.

And after the miss, Honduras and Pavon had one more attempt on goal as Pavon got a header, but he pushed it over the bar.

After four minutes of stoppage time, the fate of the match was sealed with the United States winning 3-2, and thus clinching a spot in the 2010 World Cup.

This was a great win for the United States, as they won in a hostile environment, and found a way to stop the strong Honduras offense.

And also with the win, the United States are the second nation in CONCACAF to clinch a World Cup spot after Mexico did earlier in the day, and with the loss, Honduras find themselves in a hole to get the final automatic qualification spot, as they need a win over El Salvador and a United States win over Costa Rica to get the final position.