Costa Rica claims ticket to Russian Federation


Eddie Hernández had headed Honduras ahead in the 66th minute, and it appeared that Costa Rica would have to put their Russian Federation plans on hold once more (La Sele had already missed one opportunity to qualify for the World Cup on their home turf during a game against Mexico on September 5).

The dramatic late goal means the United States likely needs at most a draw at Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday night to qualify for its eighth straight World Cup berth.

Romell Quioto crossed from the left for Eddie Hernandez who managed to get between two defenders and head home what seemed set to be a decisive goal for Honduras on the road to Russian Federation.

Giancarlo Gonzalez headed the ball toward the right flank.

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Costa Rica will be a fine addition to El Mundial next summer.

After coming from behind to tie 1-1, Costa Rica, with 16 points, joins Mexico (21) in advancing from the North and Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF) region with three final matches to play on Tuesday. Panama and Honduras have 10 points each. A seven- and 12-goal lead on each side means a U.S. draw would technically give hope to the chasing pair, but only a slim one.

The U.S. hosts Panama on Friday, trailing its visiting third-place opponent by one point and level on points with Honduras, but ahead on goal differential for the fourth spot.

The United States now occupies third place in the table after beating Panama 4-0 on Friday night, which leaves Bruce Arena's side in control of its own destiny heading into the final match of the Hexagonal. They must now hope to beat already-qualified Mexico and hope both Panama and the United States lose.