Los Angeles Soccer: Luis Garrido

OLYMPICS: Ponce gives Mexico the crown

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
10:39
PM PT

Mexico heads to the Olympics as CONCACAF's under-23 champion. Honduras goes to London with two players suspended.


That's the upshot from Monday's title game in the region's Olympic qualifying tournament, in which El Tri prevailed, 2-1, on Miguel Angel Ponce's volley late in overtime in Kansas City, Kan.

Marco Fabian de la Mora also scored for Mexico, which rallied from a deficit after Romell Quioto's header gave the Hondurans a 48th-minute lead.

Both sides qualified for the Olympics with semifinal victories Saturday.

Keeping tabs on the road to London:
  • WHAT HAPPENED?

Mexico fell behind early in the second half, then took over, sending attacking wave after wave at the Honduran defense to net a 75th-minute equalizer and score the winner 26 minutes into overtime.


Quioto gave the Catrachos the advantage by nodding home Alexander Lopez's cross, but they were under heavy pressure the rest of the way. Marco Fabian tied the score with a brilliant blast from 28 yards that bent just inside the right post -- his fifth goal of the tournament -- and Mexico failed to win in regulation when the star forward shot wide with an open shot inside the box in the 83rd minute and his Guadalajara teammate Erick Torres put a looping header off the crossbar in the 86th.

Honduras goalkeeper Jose Mendoza was heroic on several occasions. He required medical attention after appearing to hurt his knee and signaled at least twice to bee substituted off.

Ponce, a Sacramento-born midfielder for Guadalajara, got open at the left post to finish Israel Jimenez's cross from the left flank in the 116th minute. The seven-pass sequence occurred when Mexico failed to return the ball to Honduras, which had knocked it out of bounds so a player could receive medical treatment.

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