MEXICO CITY, Mar 30 (Reuters) – Mexico’s soccer team emerged as the Concacaf pre-Olympic tournament champion on Tuesday after winning 5-4 on penalties over Honduras in the final of the competition.
With the victory on penalties, after drawing 1-1 in the 90 minutes and in the overtime, the Mexican team registered a perfect record of five victories in the tournament.
In the regulation 90 minutes of the final match of the tournament that was played in the city of Guadalajara, in western Mexico, Honduras took the lead in the 71st minute when Edwin Rodríguez surprised goalkeeper Sebastián Jurado with a powerful shot from outside the area.
Seven minutes later, Jamaican referee Daneon Parchment signaled a penalty in favor of Mexico when defender José García knocked down José Juan Macías inside the area, who finished in the 80th with a shot hitting the left post.
“A complete game, the players of Honduras were warriors, this is the work of a whole cycle, now to get mental. The mentality is not to go to compete in Tokyo but to win,” defender Alan Mozo told the TUDN network.
In the penalty shootout, goalkeeper Sebastián Jurado deflected the first shot from Honduran Juan Carlos Obregón, and later Johan Vásquez, Alan Mozo, Uriel Antuna, Jesús Angulo and Alexis Vega hit the penalty kicks for Mexico.
Edwin Rodríguez, Rigoberto Rivas, Carlos Meléndez and José Reyes scored for Honduras.
“We suffer because it is a final, but thank God we made it. I just did my job, the humility that the team had to face all the games was the most important thing,” goalkeeper Sebastián Jurado told the TUDN network.
Both teams qualified for the Olympics on Sunday after beating Canada and the United States respectively in the semi-finals of the tournament.
(Report by Carlos Calvo Pacheco)