Honduras advanced to the Gold Cup semifinals with a 3-2 victory at Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Goals by Wilmer Velasquez, Elvis Danilo Turcios, and Milton Nunez staked Honduras to a 3-0 lead inside 29 minutes. Christian Bolanos replied for the Costa Ricans in the 39th minute. Bryan Ruiz set up a rousing finish with an 81st-minute goal, but Costa Rica could not complete the comeback.
Velasquez stripped Los Angeles Galaxy and Costa Rica defender Michael Umaña at the edge of the penalty to open the scoring in the sixth minute. His near-post finish baffled Alvaro Mesen to open the scoring.
Another defensive miscue doubled the Honduran lead in the 27th minute. Victor Cordero's pass to Mesen was too soft, allowing Velasquez to steal into the area. A simple feed to Turcios was finished with aplomb to double the lead.
Chicago Fire midfielder Ivan Guerrero created the third goal with a shot from distance in the 29th minute. The powerful shot deflected off Chivas USA and Costa Rican defensive midfielder Douglas Sequeira. Milton Nunez tallied from eight yards to make the score 3-0.
Bolanos, sent on in place of Randall Brenes three minutes earlier, headed home in the 39th minute from an Oscar Rojas cross to pull the Costa Ricans within two before the half.
Ruiz, aided by a delicate through ball from Jafet Soto, fired past Victor Coello on 81 minutes to draw the Costa Ricans within one at 3-2.
Honduras held strong in the final minutes to seal an encounter with the winner of the United States-Jamaica tilt.
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
HON - Wilmer Velasquez 6
HON - Danilo Turcios 27
HON - Milton Nunez 29
CRC - Christian Bolanos 39
CRC - Bryan Ruiz 81
Honduras (4-4-2) - Victor Coello; Asthou Henriquez, Maynor Figueroa, Samuel Caballero, Junior Izaguirre; Mario Berrios (Erick Vallecilo 83), Oscar Garcia (Wilson Palacios 78), Elvis Turcios (Luis Guifarro 69), Ivan Guerrero; Wilmer Velasquez, Milton Nunez
Costa Rica (4-4-2) - Alvaro Mesen; Roy Miller, Michael Umana, Victor Cordero, Harold Wallace; Dany Fonseca (Jose Luis Lopez 76), Jafet Soto, Douglas Sequeira, Oscar Rojas; Steven Bryce (Bryan Ruiz 62), Randall Brenes (Christian Bolanos 36)
CRC - Christian Bolanos (caution) 37
HON - Asthou Henriquez (caution) 66
HON - Samuel Caballero (caution) 77
CRC - Victor Cordero (caution) 78
Referee: Benito Archundia
Referee's Assistants: Francisco Ramirez, Pedro Rebollar
4th Official: Neil Brizan
Weather: Sunny, 83 degrees