Honduras put the pressure on Mexico and have one foot of their own on the plane to Brazil after a 1-0 home win over Costa Rica on Friday afternoon, with New England revolution striker Jerry Bengtson scoring the decisive goal off a feed from former Sporting KC man Roger Espinoza.
An MLS-heavy Catrachos squad – featuring Bengtson, Víctor Bernárdez and Boniek García as starters – finished the night in control of their own destiny and with eyes on the third and final automatic qualification place in CONCACAF. A draw or win on the final matchday against Jamaica on Tuesday will see Honduras clinch that spot, while the worst they could do is finish fourth should Mexico win and overturn the Catrachos' goal differential advantage.
Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío featured up top in a fruitless performance for the Ticos, while San Jose winger Marvin Chávez and Portland attacker Rodney Wallace watched on from their respective benches.
Down in South America, Chicago Fire midfielder Arévalo Ríos and his Uruguay side are all but certain to face a playoff with fifth-place Asian finishers Jordan after falling 1-0 in their trip to Ecuador. Ríos played the whole game for La Celeste, who are guaranteed that playoff spot, but must hope Chile or Ecuador lose their final games while also beating Argentina at home and making up goal differential.
In Europe, LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane was a spectator as Germany throttled the Republic of Ireland by the tune of 3-0 on Friday, bringing and emphatic end to Irish hopes of qualification for next summer's World Cup in Brazil. Chicago's Joel Lindpere was also an unused sub in Estonia's 2-0 loss to Turkey.
Tim Cahill and Australia, meanwhile, were thumped 6-0 in a friendly at France. It's the latest in a list of lopsided scorelines for the Aussies, and this one cost head coach Holger Osieck his job. Cahill was not best-pleased:
Want 2 say Thankyou to Holger for getting us to our 3rd WORLD CUP. Is this a first get us to WC and get the sack. Sad day for Football in oz— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) October 11, 2013
Republic of Ireland – lost 3-0 at Germany, World Cup qualifier
Robbie Keane (LA) - Dressed, did not play
Estonia – lost 2-0 to Turkey, World Cup qualifier
Joel Lindpere (CHI) - Dressed, did not play
Uruguay – lost 1-0 to Ecuador, World Cup qualifier
Arévalo Ríos (CHI) - Started, played the full 90 minutes
Honduras 1-0 Costa Rica, World Cup qualifier
Víctor Bernárdez (SJ) - Started, played the full 90 minutes
Boniek García (HOU) - Started, played the full 90 minutes
Marvin Chávez (SJ) - Dressed, did not play
Jerry Bengtson (NE) - Started, played 75 minutes, scored one goal
Álvaro Saborío (RSL) - Started, played 70 minutes
Rodney Wallace (POR) - Dressed, did not play
Jamaica – lost 2-0 at USA, World Cup qualifier
Deshorn Brown (COL) - Started, played the full 90 minutes
Ryan Johnson (POR) - Started, played 85 minutes
Darren Mattocks (VAN) - Started, played the full 90 minutes
Alvas Powell (POR) - Dressed, did not play
Jermaine Taylor (HOU) - Dressed, did not play
Je-Vaughn Watson (DAL) - Started, played 73 minutes
Panama - lost 2-1 at Mexico, World Cup qualifier
Blas Perez (FCD) - Started, played 79 minutes
Jaime Penedo (LA) - Started, played 90 minutes
Gabriel Torres (COL) - Subbed on in the 79th minute, 1 goal
Australia - lost 6-0 at France, international friendly
Tim Cahill (NY) - Started, played 80 minutes
David Carney (NY) - Started, played 45 miutes