The United States men’s national team needed a late equalizer to salvage a point against pesky Honduras on Tuesday night, but the Americans came through to remain in third place in the CONCACAF table.
Bobby Wood came through with a goal in the 85th minute to knot the match with Honduras, and the sides played to a 1-1 tie in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The tie keeps the U.S. in third place in the group standings with nine points, alongside Honduras, with two matches to play in World Cup qualifying. CONCACAF sends the top three teams to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the fourth will have to navigate a playoff against the world’s other regions to earn a spot in the draw.
Team USA was coming off a 2-0 defeat against Costa Rica last week. Prior to that, the Americans had won four straight and were on smoother sailing toward qualifying for another World Cup. This draw represents good news for that bid, one that looked to be in reasonable peril prior to Wood’s in-close strike.
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Honduras struggled coming into play Tuesday, having gone 0-2-2 in its previous four games. Romell Quioto‘s 27th-minute goal put the Hondurans in front, however. Tuesday’s host nation remains in a scrap with the U.S. for the third spot, with Mexico (17 points) and Costa Rica (14) in commanding position to secure Russia spots.
Team USA, which was playing without Jozy Altidore on Tuesday, has two more matches before qualification concludes. The Americans will travel to Panama on Oct. 6 and round out its qualifying fixture list against Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10.
Panama and Trinidad reside at the bottom of the CONCACAF table, making the Americans’ road to Russia easier than the Hondurans’. Honduras faces Costa Rica and Mexico in its final two matches.