YOU'RE WELCOME, HONDURAS!
The United States of Motherfuckin' America pulled off a beautiful last minute equalizing goal against Costa Rica to put themselves through to South Africa as the top seed in the CONCACAF division.
People weren't exactly dancing in the streets here in the USA, but it was a very different story in Honduras...
This video, from La Gringa's Blogicito, is amazing... check out towards the end, when the revelers are chanting "Gringo Gringo Gringo" and "USA USA USA!"
How did this happen? Costa Rica, who had been very good through the first part of qualifying, needed only to beat the United States to gain an automatic birth into the 2010 WC Finals in South Africa, regardless of what Honduras did in their match in El Salvador. The Honduran team did their part by winning 1-0, and so all Costa Rica needed to do was hold on to their 2-1 lead going into stoppage time.
And they blew it.
Over 6 minutes of stoppage time was added on to the second half, mostly because of the concerted time-wasting tactics of the Ticos. Capping this was a truly bizarre scene on the sidelines in which Costa Rica coach Rene Simoes was red carded and forcefully escorted from the field by Washington D.C. police! This only added more time to the end, which proved to be the Ticos' undoing.
The USA's last minute goal allowed Honduras to finish third in the group, and forced Costa Rica into a playoff against the 5th place team in the South American division (that would be Uruguay) for the remaining spot from the Americas.
Perhaps this is a little bit of karmic payback for the way Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has handled the Honduran crisis. Maybe not... but we can hope.
More celebration from Honduras...