Mexico beats Honduras 3-0, closes in on World Cup berth

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Mexico entered Thursday's match against Honduras with a chance to break away from the rest of the Hex pack and put some pressure off of themselves as they enter a busy summer.

Mexico defeated Honduras 3-0 at the Azteca with a heavily rotated side, showcasing a squad depth that no nation in CONCACAF can come close to matching.

That meant Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer and star Javier Hernandez also started on the bench. The only real aspect of the match the Honduras dominated was in the foul as they kicked and hacked their way through the 90 minutes of the game.

Jesus Corona spurned two golden opportunities early in the second half, beating his defender to get in on goal only to lose it to Escober with his final touch, then passing up a shot minutes later to instead cross in front of an empty net. Mexico made another important step towards the 2018 World Cup as they hammered Honduras few days ago, with Oswaldo Alanis, Hirving Lozano and Raul Jimenez getting on the scoresheet. Mexico in the native walls lost to Honduras only once, and also played twice in a draw. Jimenez was fantastic up top, while Vela and Jesus Corona were fantastic out wide taking players on easily. The Central American hopefuls dropped to 1-1-3 with just four points following the loss.

Meanwhile, in San Jose, Costa Rica could not make the most of their intimidating confines at the Estadio Nacional, as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Panama.

Even though Mexico are nearly certain to book a ticket to Russian Federation, they can now do so by putting a dent into USMNT's hopes of reaching the tournament finals, so no doubts the high-profile clash will draw huge crowds to Estadio Azteca, with United States of America eager to further improve their qualifying hopes.

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