KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AFP) –
Jerry Bengtson scored a hat trick Tuesday to spark host Honduras over Canada 8-1 and into next year’s final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying in North and Central America.
Panama also advanced with a 1-1 draw at winless Cuba as the Canadians failed to reach next year’s World Cup qualifying final round from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
Tuesday marked the conclusion of the 12-nation penultimate qualifying round with only unbeaten Mexico assured of moving on when the day began.
Needing a victory to advance from Group C, Honduras struck quickly with Bengtson scoring in the seventh and 16th minutes.
Carlos Costly added the first of his two goals in the 28th minute and Mario Martinez followed in the 32nd as Honduras seized a 4-0 half-time advantage.
Canada’s David Edgar netted an own goal in the 48th minute and Martinez netted his second tally in the 62nd to put Honduras ahead 6-0.
Iain Hume answered for Canada in the 76th minute but Bengtson completed his hat trick in the 82nd minute and Costly finished off the scoring in the 85th to complete the rout.
At Havana, the already-eliminated Cubans netted their only goal in six qualifying matches when Alberto Gomez scored in the 38th minute.
Nelson Barahona equalized for Panama in the 77th to earn a draw. Honduras took the group crown on goal difference thanks to the blowout of Canada.
Guatemala and the United States were set to meet later at Kansas City, Kansas, with a draw sending both sides into next year’s six-team qualifying for three guaranteed berths at the 2014 global football showdown in Brazil.
Their Group A rivals, Jamaica, were playing host to winless Antigua and Barbuda needing a victory and some help to advance.
In Group B, Mexico was to host El Salvador and Costa Rica was at home later to winless Guyana, the Ticos needing a victory to ensure advancement.