Posted on July 29, 2012
NEWCASTLE, England — Honduras sent shock waves throughout the Olympic men’s soccer tournament, sending gold-medal favorites Spain crashing out of the competition on Sunday night.
The Hondurans recorded a surprising 1-0 Group B triumph over Spain at St. James’ Park.
The win boosted Honduras’ record to 1-0-1 and four points, with an opportunity to clinch a quarterfinal spot against Japan in Coventry on Wednesday night. Spain fell to 0-2-0.
“We need more points,” said Jerry Bengtson, who scored the lone goal of the match. “It will be a difficult game again.”
Three members of this Spanish side were on the team that captured the Euro 2012 crown last month.
Spain had lost by the same score for the second time in four days, falling to Japan in Glasgow, Scotland on Thursday.
Bengtson, a recent signee of the New England Revolution (Major League Soccer), scored the lone goal of the match in the seventh minute as he was set up by and Andy Najar (D.C. United) and Roger Espinoza.
Najar played the ball to the left of the Spanish penalty area. Espinoza swung a cross into the Bengtson, who outjumped Jordi Alba, beating goalkeeper David de Gea on a header.
“It was a tense second half,” Bengtson said. “They had lots of chances and we did well to keep calm when they were threatening. It was very hard work. We played so well to beat Spain.”
Espinoza, a member of Sporting Kansas City, received a yellow card, his second in as many games and he will be forced to miss Wednesday’s game against Japan.
It was an ill-tempered and physical match, as 13 yellow cards were awarded, including seven on the Spaniards.
“It’s very nice that we heard the crowd supporting us and shouting ‘Honduras, Honduras’.” Bengtson said. “We want to thank them and dedicate this win to them.”
Photo: Roger Espinoza set up Jerry Bengtson’s goal.
Categories: Central America, Honduras, Olympic Qualifying
Tags: 2012 Summer Olympics, Jerry Bengtson, Major League Soccer, New England Revolution