Jerry Bengtson and Honduras pulled off an incredible upset yesterday at St. James' Park in Newcastle, drumming out the tournament favorite by beating Spain 1-0. Jerry scored the match's lone goal with an excellent early-game header, continuing his red-hot run of form in the tournament.
Despite the scoreline, Spain dominated the match if the highlights are any indication. Juan Mata and several others wasted glorious chances, and hit the bar nearly half a dozen times as they fought for an equalizer. Honduran goalkeeper Jose Mendoza stood on his head with several very good saves. Check out the highlights here, and continue reading after the jump.
Jerry's 7th-minute goal was well-worked and featured some intelligent finishing, as well as an MLS connection. Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza floated in a lazy cross from the left flank. Bengtson cut his run across the face of goal and rose highest to meet the ball. Spain goalkeeper David De Gea expected him to flick for the far post, but instead Jerry hammered it low and to the near post, wrong-footing De Gea and putting his team ahead.
Bengtson actually had the opportunity to double his tally in the 50th minute when a deep cross reached Espinoza at the far post. The midfielder's header came off the post, but Jerry was unable to convert the rebound.
Honduras is now in second place in Group D, behind Japan (6 points) and Morocco (1 point). A win against Japan will guarantee advancement, while a draw could still see them through if Morocco loses or draws Spain, or if they win the tiebreaker in the event of a Morocco win. Even if Los Catrachos lose, they still advance if Morocco doesn't win.
Also, Jerry Bengtson's three goals is good enough to tie him with Senegal's Moussa Konaté for leading goalscorer in the Men's tournament. Honduras' next match, the Group D finale against Japan, will occur on Wednesday August 1st at Noon EST, from City of Coventry Stadium.
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