The Goal that Qualified Honduras for the 2010 World Cup

By | September 7, 2013

Honduras stunned Mexico last night with a 2-1 victory in the legendary Azteca stadium. It was only the second time Mexico lost a qualifying game at home, and placed Mexico 4th in the current CONCACAF rankings. If they remain there, they will have to compete for a slot in the World Cup in a game against New Zealand, the top-ranked team in the Oceania Federation.

With this victory, Honduras are pretty close to securing themselves a berth in the 2014 World Cup. Their road to South Africa in 2010 was a bit more dramatic. In the end, the goal that made the different was not scored by a Honduran player, but rather by Jonathan Bornstein of the US Men’s National Team, in RFK stadium, on October 14th, 2009. The tight competition within CONCACAF meant that the goal differential in the two final games (between Honduras and El Salvador on the one hand, and between the U.S. and Costa Rica) made the difference. You can see the critical goal, and hear the response of commentators, here.

Honduras had not qualified for the World Cup in 27 years, and people flooded into the streets in celebration.

It had been a long and difficult year in Honduras, where a coup overthrew the president in June 2009. And both sides in the ensuing political crisis tried to use football, and the victory of the Honduran team, to their advantageAs Joshua Nadel wrote here a few months ago, the years since that coup have been difficult ones in the country.

In nearly clinching their second trip to a World Cup, meanwhile, Honduras’ national team has also secured a reputation as one of the region’s most formidable players.

Category: Honduras World Cup Qualifiers

About Laurent Dubois

I am Professor of Romance Studies and History and the Director of the Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University. I founded the Soccer Politics blog in 2009 as part of a course on "World Cup and World Politics" taught at Duke University. I'm currently teaching the course under the title "Soccer Politics" here at Duke. My books include Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (University of California Press, 2010) and The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer (Basic Books, 2018)

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