Monday, April 02, 2012

Mexico Win Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

While much of Kansas City spent their evening watching the University of Kansas, there were just over 10,000 inside of Livestrong Sporting Park set to watch Mexico and Honduras square off in the finals of Olympic qualifying. And while there were only 10,000 it certainly didn't sound or feel like it while in the stands. Honduras came out with a good game plan, playing defensively and trying to hit Mexico on the counter or set plays. Mexico consistently attacked Honduras, but the defense of the Hondurans held firm. Early in the second half, Honduras finally capitalized on a set play, as a free kick was headed in by Romell Quioto to give Honduras a shocking 1-0 lead.

After the goal, Honduras started to sit deeper and deeper trying to kill the game off. Honduras' keeper had to come up big a few times. But just as it seemed like Honduras might find a way to hold on, Marco Fabian let fly with a rocket from 25 yards out that went into the net tying the game. At this point it was all one way traffic for Mexico, and they looked the most likely to find a winner in regulation. In stoppage time things got worse for Honduras, as Luis Garrido picked up a second yellow, putting Honduras down to 10 men.

In extra time, the domination by Mexico continued. Only a save off the line by Andy Najar kept Mexico from taking the lead in the first extra time period. In the second period of extra time though, Honduras' defense finally gave in, and it was US citizen, Miguel Ponce who scored the winner in the 116th. Honduras though continued to make things harder for themselves, especially as they head to London. Showing a lack of discipline, Wilmer Crisanto picked up a second yellow, and Honduras ended the game with 9 men.

In the end, though, the three games of soccer at Livestrong Sporting Park this weekend, were fantastic. As someone who attended all 3 games as a neutral I can't say that I was disappointed at all. There was a high level of play on the field and the crowds were some of the best that have been at LSP in it's short history.

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