EDDIE Hernandez converted a penalty kick and Honduras (3W-0D-0L, 9 points) clinched a berth in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 1-0 win over hosts Panama (1-1-1, 4) in a spirited Copa Centroamericana encounter Tuesday night at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. Honduras, who won their first three matches in the competition for the fourth time, remain atop the six-team table with nine points.The Panamanians had their tournament-record unbeaten streak snapped at 16 games and sit in fourth place – trailing third-place El Salvador on the most-goals-scored tiebreaker – with four points from three matches.The scoreless stalemate was broken in the 36th minute, when Hernandez rolled a penalty kick into the left side of the net, as Panama goalkeeper Jose Calderon dived the other way. Referee Jair Marrufo had pointed to the spot after ruling that defender Luis Ovalle pulled Hernandez down inside the box.Hernandez’s second goal of the tournament came just five minutes after teammate Marcelo Canales put a blistering free kick from 30 yards just over the crossbar.Panama pushed hard for an equaliser, but were unable to break down a Catracho defence that had now conceded one or fewer goals in 21 of their last 22 Copa Centroamericana matches.Tony Taylor had a quality chance to level for the Canaleros in the 54th minute, beating an offside trap and cutting inside the box, before his low shot from 12 yards out was stopped by goalkeeper Donis Escober.Moments later, Panamanian midfielder Armando Cooper sent a dangerous ball across the face of the goal, but Marcelo Pereira slid to clear at the edge of the six-yard box.Panama’s best chance came in the final minute of regulation. Arabe Unido star Edgar Yoel Barcenas chipped an effort that forced Escobar into a leaping save.Honduras are three-time champions of the tournament, last winning in 2011. Panama, who have lifted the trophy once (2009), lost previously against Costa Rica 3-0 on January 23, 2009.Both sides return to action tomorrow as Honduras face Costa Rica.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Phil D’Abbraccio (21-8): Virginia 58, Syracuse 49Meet VirginiaRakeem Christmas’ Carrier Dome career ends on a sour note. And if it isn’t capped off by another slow walk to the Syracuse bench after fouling out, it’ll be by a walk of dejection as Syracuse is stumped by another top-five team’s defense. The Orange appeared to have exerted all of its energy throwing punches at top 12 teams in Louisville and Notre Dame when it came time to square off with Duke. SU’s offense was listless then. And against a tougher defense Monday night, the Orange’s odds of putting the ball in the basket enough to win aren’t any better.Jesse Dougherty (22-7): Virginia 55, Syracuse 50Not hoo pretty This is going to be an ugly one. Really, really ugly. Syracuse has a lot of trouble scoring against tight man-to-man defenses — see, Duke — and Virginia is without its best perimeter threat in Justin Anderson. So how these two teams will score is beyond me, but it has to happen, right? One of Michael Gbinije or Christmas will carry the offensive load for the Orange and the Cavaliers will get theirs going to the rim. In the end, SU can’t penetrate the UVA defense enough to stay in the game down the stretch.Jacob Klinger (23-6): Syracuse 51, Virginia 49Hoos ball is it anyway?Virginia is like the 2006-07 Chicago Bears – all defense and really good in spite of its offense. But now the Cavaliers are without Anderson, which means it’ll be like actually having Rex Grossman playing basketball. And Syracuse shoots like — well, you’ve seen this season. So this becomes a game of chaos and rebounds. Christmas, a gloriously ugly finish and sports don’t make sense. So SU will win, barely. Comments Published on March 2, 2015 at 6:19 pm
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