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Pavon fires four in Honduras win

HOUSTON: Carlos Pavon struck four goals to lift Honduras to a 5-0 win over Cuba on Wednesday and secure their place in the Gold Cup quarter-finals.

In the late game, Group C rivals Mexico joined the Hondurans in the last eight after Carlos Salcido's 58th-minute strike was enough to see off Panama, who also advance as one of the best third-placed teams.

Honduras utterly outclassed Cuba with Pavon completing a hat-trick inside the opening 40 minutes.

Honduras grabbed a quick lead when Pavon took a pass from Carlos Costly in the third minute and scored from close in on the right side.

Pavon scored again in the 12th when he kicked the ball high in the air in front of the goal. Goalkeeper Odelin Molina went after the ball, but Pavon reached it first and headed it in.

Pavon got his hat trick in the 43rd, taking a perfect pass from Julio Cesar Leon on a corner kick and heading it in.

In the 53rd, Pavon took a pass from Leon, tipped it up, then kicked it in from short range for 4-0. Pavon was then taken out in the 62nd to rest him for Sunday's match. Amado Guevara scored the final goal on a penalty kick in the 89th.

Eliminated

Cuba, which scored only one point in the competition, was eliminated.

Mexico and Panama struggled to force a breakthrough and after both sides had struck the post, Salcido slid in at the back post to slot home a flicked-on corner and ensure victory for Hugo Sanchez's side.

Panama piled on the pressure in the latter stages but were foiled by an inspired display from Mexico keeper Oswaldo Sanchez.

Panama next face hosts United States tomorrow, but they will be without Rolando Escobar and Roman Torres, who were both sent off in the latter stages of the game.

In the other quarter-finals, Canada take on Guatemala tomorrow, while Honduras play Guadeloupe and Mexico face Costa Rica on Sunday.

Standings - Page 43



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