Last night was eventful in international soccer. World Cup qualifiers across many federations were at play, including a big one between the United States and Guatemala. Just before that, though, two other CONCACAF contenders met at San Pedro Sula in a do-or-die showdown for their World Cup lives. Canada needed an away draw to tie Panama on points at the top of their group and get through to the Hex; New England Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson and Honduras needed a win.
Los Catrachos didn't just win. They embarrassed the Canadians to the tune of 8-1, and Jerry led the way with one of two Honduran hat-tricks on the night. Bengtson struck in the 7th, 17th, and 83rd minutes (his 17th-minute effort turned out to be the winner), while also turning provider and notching two assists on goals from Carlo Costly in the 29th and 89th minutes. His clear man-of-the-match performance paced a display by the Hondurans that demonstrated just how dangerous they really could be in the Hexagonal round next year.
Jerry's goals were mostly good poacher's goals, which makes you wonder why he doesn't get a lot of these goals for the Revs. His first was pretty well set up as he ran onto a knock-down and dinked it in amid shambolic Canadian defending. The second was a matter of being in the right place at the right time, cleaning up a rebound and putting it away. His final goal, though, he received a good pass, was given time to turn, and just fired into the corner. Perhaps he's been encountering poorer defending in his international matches, but either way we have to hope that this form will somehow translate into goals for New England as well, since he doesn't appear to need world-class service to score for his country.
With those goals, Bengtson is now Honduras' top scorer in qualifying with five. He will return to the Revs this week in time to be available for this weekend's home finale against Chicago. Here are full match highlights: