Thomas leads Honduras to 1-0 over Panama in first round of Olympic qualifying
Wednesday, March 12 2008 @ 01:33 AM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
With the win, Honduras improved to 1-0 in the Group A round robin. Panama is 0-1.
The top two teams in the group, which also includes Cuba and the United States, advance to the March 20 semifinals in Nashville along with the top two from Group B. The two finalists there earn a berth in the Summer Olympics, Aug. 6-23 in Beijing.
Canada opens its qualifying with a Group B match against Mexico on Wednesday.
The teams combined for only 12 shots on goal and many of the best scoring chances came in the opening half.
One Panama opportunity came in the 21st minute, moments after a yellow card against Honduras defender Erick Norales. But a free kick from 30 yards out that was passed to Roman Torres resulted in a header that sailed well high of the net.
About three minutes later, a Honduras shot by Jefferson Bernardez, who took a cross from attacker Rigoberto Padilla, was just wide.
In the 34th minute, Padilla appeared to find another teammate in scoring position, but Panama keeper Jose Calderon dove to the ground and knocked the ball away before Jose Cesar Guity could get to it.
Calderon also stopped a Honduras shot from about 15 yards out in the second minute of play.