Mexico’s 2024 Copa América hopes suffer major blow after 2-0 first leg loss to Honduras

Mexico fell 2-0 to Honduras in the first leg of the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals on Friday. The defeat not only puts El Tri in danger of being eliminated from the Nations League but could also mean Mexico’s absence at next summer’s Copa América.

The qualifying format for the 2024 Copa América is slightly confusing, but the gist is that all four Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal winners book an automatic ticket for the South American tournament.

The first game of the two-legged quarterfinal between Mexico and Honduras was played at the Estadio Nacional Chelato Ucles in Tegucigalpa and didn’t go El Tri’s way.

Mexico vs Honduras highlights

Despite Mexico dominating possession, Los Catrachos outshout Mexico 12-8 and created the better chances.

El Tri’s bad night started with star goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa picking up an injury after a collision in the seventh minute. Ochoa pulled himself from the game in the 21st minute.

Honduras opened the scoring minutes later with Anthony Lozano scoring after a fantastic first touch and then the cool finish.

The lead was nearly doubled before halftime had it not been for a last-ditch goal line clearance.

Mexico failed to find a response and Bryan Róchez put the first leg to bed with Honduras’ second goal in the 72nd minute.

The victory is a landmark moment for Los Catrachos who have been historically poor in recent years. Friday’s result marks the first time since 2017 that Honduras have beat Mexico and only the eighth time in history.

Mexico will need to defeat Honduras by three goals in Tuesday’s second leg game to advance to the Nations League semifinals and secure a place in next summer's Copa América.

If Mexico fail to complete the comeback against Honduras, they will still have a chance to qualify for the 2024 Copa América. The four losers of the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals will be drawn against one another. 

Those two “loser’s bracket” games will be played in March and the two winners qualify for Copa América.

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