Mexico shocks Costa Rica while US and Honduras win

MEXICO dealt Costa Rica a damaging home defeat while Honduras and the United States won on Saturday to shake up the standings in 2010 World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

MEXICO dealt Costa Rica a damaging home defeat while Honduras and the United States won on Saturday to shake up the standings in 2010 World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Mexico more than met the challenge of taking on Costa Rica on the artificial pitch at notoriously hostile Saprissa Stadium, winning 3-0 with goals from Giovanni Dos Santos, Guillermo Franco and Andres Guardado.

It was Mexico's first away win in the six-nation final round of qualifying, while Costa Rica lost for the first time at home and fell from first place to fourth.

The victory gave Mexico 12 points, the same as Costa Rica but ahead on goal difference. They trail Honduras and the United States, both on 13 points.

In San Pedro Sula, Honduras pummelled Trinidad and Tobago 4-1, while the United States rallied to beat El Salvador 2-1 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Carlos Pavon in the 19th and 27th minutes, Amado Guevara in the 61st and David Sauzo in the 82nd scored for Honduras, while Kerry Baptiste scored in the 85th for Trinidad and Tobago.

In Utah, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore scored first-half goals to lift the United States to a 2-1 victory over El Salvador in Salt Lake City.

Christian Castillo had given El Salvador a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute with a header over US keeper Tim Howard.

But Dempsey equalised in the 41st when he headed in a free kick from Landon Donovan.

Donovan's cross in first-half injury time also supplied Altidore, while Howard's save of William Reyes's point-blank shot in the 87th preserved the victory.

The top three teams in the group advance directly to the 2010 World Cup finals.

The fourth-placed team plays off for a berth against the fifth-placed team from South America.

Saturday's defeats left Trinidad and Tobago and El Salvador both on five points, and their hopes of qualifying all but extinguished.

Qualifying continues on Wednesday, when Mexico host Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago host the United States and El Salvador host Costa Rica. - Sapa-AFP

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