And you thought the Nations League quarter-final round was going to be predictable? This is CONCACAF!
Honduras shocked Mexico 2-0 in the first leg of their Nations League quarterfinal series, thanks to goals from Anthony Lozano and Bryan Rochez at Honduras’ Estadio Nacional Chelato Ucles on Friday.
Mexico’s troubles began early in the game when their goalkeeper and captain, Guillermo Ochoa, was injured and had to be replaced by Angel Malagon in the 22nd minute. Honduras capitalized on this disruption, with Lozano scoring the first goal in the 30th minute, assisted by Luis Palma.
For many years, the 38-year-old Ochoa has been the mainstay goalkeeper for El Tri, despite calls for younger players to be given a chance to pull on the gloves and prepare for the future.
On Friday, El Tri had a taste of that future when Ochoa was forced to leave the field in the 22nd minute due to a shoulder injury.
Despite Mexico’s efforts to level the score, including the introduction of Uriel Antuna, Luis Chávez, Raúl Jiménez, and debutant Julián Quiñones, they were unable to penetrate Honduras’ solid defence. Rochez then extended Honduras’ lead to 2-0 in the 72nd minute, following a smart run from Jorge Álvarez.
Honduras adopted a defensive strategy in the closing stages of the game. The second leg of the quarter-final will take place in Mexico on November 21.