Honduras go through; Mexico still in contention

Honduras qualified for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil on Tuesday by clinching the last of the automatic qualifying spots in North and Central America and the Caribbean, while Mexico stayed in contention by claiming the playoff spot after Panama suffered a heartbreaking loss to the United States.

Needing only a point to qualify, Honduras made sure of their place by drawing 2-2 with Jamaica in Kingston to join the US and Costa Rica as the three automatic qualifiers from the CONCACAF region after a dramatic final round of matches.

Regional heavyweights Mexico were minutes away from missing out on the fourth-placed playoff spot when they were beaten 2-1 in Costa Rica and Panama held a 2-1 lead over the Americans.

But Panama, who needed to win to leapfrog Mexico in the six-nation qualifying tournament, conceded two goals in stoppage time to lose 3-2, prompting shock, disbelief and jubilation among Mexican fans.

Mexico now face Oceania winners New Zealand in a two-leg playoff in November in an effort to continue their long streak of World Cup appearances while Honduras will make their third appearance at the game's showpiece event.

Honduras made the perfect start against Jamaica when Carlo Costly scored in the first minute but the home side, who failed to win a match in the final round, drew level two minutes later through Je-Vaughn Watson.

Honduras regained the lead after 33 minutes to go into the break with a 2-1 advantage when Maynor Figeuroa scored off a free kick but Jamaica equalised in the second half when Rodolph Austin converted a penalty.

Honduras survived some anxious moments but their defence held firm before the players celebrated booking their passage to Brazil.

Mexico's hopes of staying alive rested on the result of Panama's match with an understrength American side.

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