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Soccer: Honduras Beats US 3-2 in World Cup Qualifier - 2001-09-01

Honduras has defeated the United States national soccer team, 3-2, in a World Cup qualifying match before a deafening, sold out crowd at RFK Stadium here in Washington. The Americans came into the match tied with Costa Rica for the regional group lead with 13 points.

The U.S. was favored at home and took the lead in the seventh minute on a goal from Earnie Stewart. But Milton Nunez equalized in the 28th minute, blasting a perfect pass from Carlos Pavon past a diving Brad Friedel.

Team USA had a chance to retake the lead on a penalty kick in the 43rd minute, but the Honduran keeper Noel Valladares saved Earnie Stewart's low drive. U.S. coach Bruce Arena says that was the turning point of the game. "We did not seize the opportunity, giving back the goal and then not having the opportunity to get the second one before the half," he said. "Overall some mistakes, a few bad performances on the defensive end of the field, and a missed opportunity that was a big swing in the game."

Honduras took the momentum and it paid off in the 52nd minute as Pavon netted a penalty kick to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. With the U..S pressing for the equalizer, Nunez scored again in the 76th. Earnie Stewart tallied his second goal in the 83rd minute, to make the final score Honduras 3, U.S. 2.