Mexico appears ready for its World Cup qualifying showdown vs. the United States.
El Tri rolled to a 3-0 qualifying win over Honduras on Thursday night, riding goals from Oswaldo Alanis, Hirving Lozano and Raul Jimenez to stay unbeaten halfway through the CONCACAF Hexagonal. With 13 points, Mexico has already passed the 11 total it secured in its unnerving 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign and appears comfortably on its way to Russia 2018.
Honduras hardly threatened at Estadio Azteca, where fans saw Mexico take the lead off a corner kick in the 34th minute off Alanis's header from Jonathan Dos Santos's service.
Mexico received some breathing room in the 63rd minute through Lozano, who got in behind the defense and finished calmly after taking a touch to round the keeper following Hector Herrera's assist.
It quickly became 3-0, when Carlos Vela slid a short pass to Raul Jimenez, who chipped the goalkeeper from close range to secure the three points.
Mexico achieved the result without the likes of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who, along with Hector Moreno, Javier Aquino and Marco Fabian, was rested by manager Juan Carlos Osorio.
Mexico hosts the USA at Azteca Sunday night in their second and final meeting of the round. Mexico won in Columbus for the first time, beating the USA 2-1 in November, and the Americans will be looking to return serve in Mexico City after securing a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday.
Costa Rica and Panama played to a 0-0 draw, leaving Mexico atop the Hex with its 13 points, followed by Costa Rica (8), USA (7), Panama (6), Honduras (4) and Trinidad & Tobago (3). The top three teams qualify for the 2018 World Cup automatically, while the fourth-place team is entered into an intercontinental playoff for a final berth in Russia.