A couple of days ago we heard about the tragic one car accident involving Charlie Davies and his two friends, sadly one of them died. You think to yourself how could these men go out on the field and try to play a match that honestly didn’t mean anything, since they already qualified in Honduras for the World Cup. You have to admit from a tragedy that happened to one of their own and thankfully it sounds like Davies can recover from this, so could his teammates.
But for this team that has been up and down every single match from the Confederations Cup, the Gold Cup & these past ten matches in World Cup Qualifying , they were able to stand tall within the final minutes of this match in our Nation’s Capital and pullout a big goal and a big point to win the Hexagonal. At the same time they send Costa Rica into a playoff with fifth place South American Finisher Uruguay. The first goal for Costa Rica in the 21st Minute by Bryan Ruiz who got around Oguchi Onyewu and just slipped it past Tim Howard for the early lead and of course three minutes later a big rip into the far upper ninety. Many probably thought at halftime as did I that Costa Rica’s tickets to South Africa were already punched.
But the second half started and you saw the USA start making some progress and string together some attacking runs. Solid substitutions as well by Bob Bradley & when his son got a hold of a rebound shot by Landon Donovan in the 72nd minute on a hard chip you could feel the fear coming from the Ticos. But during the 85th minute two things happened that had you concerned & you didn’t know why there was an ejection. While Oguchi Onyewu was trying to defend a cross in the air, he was landing and his left leg somehow buckled. He fell down in pain with a Left Patella Tendon injury that will sideline him for three to four months. From that point on the USA was down to ten men due to injury.
Costa Rica Head Coach Rene Simoes was arguing with the fourth official Paul Enrique Delgadillo Haro about his substitution. Simoes argued that Delgadillo Haro posted the wrong number for the player to come off the pitch, but Delgadillo showed the substitutions card that it was the correct man. Simoes and his assistant continued to argue and Benito Archundia had enough of it. So both men were told to leave. Both men ejected for their continued berating of the fourth official and they won’t be available for the first leg in the playoff against Uruguay.
Five minutes of stoppage time and it was running out for the USA to make something magical happen. A late corner taken by Robbie Rogers and out of nowhere Jonathan Bornstein with a wide open header broke the hearts of the Ticos for automatic qualification. All of RFK was celebrating this draw as was the entire country of Honduras.
This Honduras fan was carrying our flag for appreciation of defeating Costa Rica after his National Team defeated El Salvador one goal to nil. There was a big party down in Tegucigalpa on Francisco Morazan Boulevard as they were thanking the USA to help them get to their first World Cup since 1982.
Finally I saw what all of you saw, it was the 9th Minute memory for Charlie Davies as every fan in the lower bowl raised a printed sheet of his #9 hopes that he has a speedy recovery. There is never a dull moment on the pitch for our American players and let’s hope on Friday, December 4th the group draw will favor them for the first time.