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WCQ roundup: Honduras shocked, Ricketts injured, Johnson scores

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Honduras qualified for South Africa 2010; but its national side will come to Toronto for Tuesday’s Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier in desperation mode.

The Hondurans lost at home for only the fourth time ever in World Cup qualifying, dropping a 2-0 decision to Panama Friday night. FC Dallas’s Blas Perez scored two second-half goals for the visitors, and the Panamanians (albeit, after one game) take the lead in Group C on goal difference over Canada, who won 1-0 earlier Friday over Cuba.

But Honduras knows that, even though it is early in the competition, that its chances of getting to the Hex could be all but obliterated if it loses to Canada on Tuesday. You have to assume the Panamanians, who are one of the rising stars of CONCACAF, will beat Cuba. And, if Canada can take all three points, the Hondurans would be six points south of the group co-leaders.

So, for Canada, this could almost be an elimination game. Beat Honduras, and knock one of the big dogs of CONCACAF back to the point where it might not have time to catch up and make up six points on the leaders.

And, it could have been worse for the Hondurans, as keeper Noel Valladeres saved a late penalty, or else the slate would have been one loss and a -3 goal difference.

JAMAICA
While Jamaica’s national-team games have no bearing on Canada’s Group C, the Reggae Boyz’s 2-1 win over Guatemala had a couple of items Canadian soccer fans should have had their eyes on.

First off, some disturbing news for Montreal Impact fans, as keeper Donovan Ricketts left on a stretcher in the 20th minute and did not return. (UPDATE: The Jamaican Football Federation has confirmed that Ricketts suffered a non-contact right knee injury, but he must still be assessed.)

But, Toronto FC’s Ryan Johnson got the goal that would go down as the winning marker, as his second-half effort gave the host Jamaicans a 2-0 lead at the time.

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