Mexico defeats Honduras in a penalty shootout to seal their spot in the Copa America.


El Tri will advance to the Copa America and stay in the Concacaf Nations League.

After Mexico’s 2-0 victory in regulation levelled the aggregate in the tie, they advanced past Honduras 4-2 in a penalty shootout to set up the Concacaf Nations League semifinals. Although Andy Najar’s failed penalty ended it, there was tension throughout the entire game. Luis Chavez didn’t open the score until the 43rd minute, so El Tri needed to get off to a quick start in the game after falling behind 2-0 at the beginning.

They would continue that trend when Edson Alvarez scored in the 101st minute of play to force extra time. Mexico was on the verge of missing out on the Nations League’s next round and failing to earn a direct ticket to the Copa America in 2024. Mexico controlled the game from beginning to end, taking 38 shots and scoring 11 of them on goal. However, even though Honduras was under pressure for the majority of the game, Mexico lacked that finishing touch in the final third.

The tenacity displayed by Mexico during the game is crucial, even how close they came to losing. Between now and 2024, coach Jamie Lozano will have a lot of work to do because, in the end, Mexico’s performance was sufficient to qualify for the tournament—something that CONMEBOL nations will not be able to do. It was comparable to when the United States qualified despite losing to Trinidad and Tobago.

That’s about all Canada can say following their loss to Jamaica, but the Canucks will at least get another shot at qualifying for the Copa America if the four losers of these quarterfinal games face off in the playoffs. Copa America will take place in the United States from June 20 to July 14, 2024, while the Nations League semifinals will take place in March 2024 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That gives Mexico enough time to decide on their starting striker. In order to avoid losing to teams like Honduras in the first leg and having to hire new coaches before hosting the World Cup in 2026 with the United States and Canada, El Tri will also require balance in the midfield.