El Tri beat Honduras 4-2 on penalty kicks Tuesday night to qualify for next year’s Copa América along with Jamaica, which rallied past Canada with a goal in the 11th minute of second-half stoppage time.
It was determined that Salvadoran referee Iván Barton ruled the goalkeeper moved too early in the shootout, which allowed César Huerta to retake his penalty kick twice. On his third attempt, Huerta scored for a 4-2 lead, and Andy Najar, who renounced the American national team to play for Honduras, hit the sideline wide to celebrate with Mexican players.
After Honduras’ win in Tegucigalpa, Mexico tied the aggregate score 2-2 via goals by Luis Chávez in the 43rd minute and by Alvarez, who scored 1 1/2 minutes after nine minutes of stoppage time.
The Reggae Boyz advanced on 3-2 away goals after recovering from a 2-1 home loss in the first leg.
When the Copa América tournament is held in the U.S. from June 20 to July 14, Argentina will defend its title. The draw is on Dec. 7. The 10 South American nations received automatic berths.
Likewise, the U.S., Mexico, Jamaica and Panama have advanced to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations League. The U.S. will play Jamaica, and Panama will play Mexico on March 21.
On March 23, Trinidad and Tobago will play Canada and Honduras will play Costa Rica in playoff games for Copa América berths.
The game was still goalless at the end of stoppage time at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca when Chávez scored on a free kick from about 30 yards.
The ball was lofted by César Montes into the penalty area, and Denil Maldonado’s attempted clearance was headed back in front by Santiago Giménez. During the fall, Alvarez pounced on the ball and poked it past Menjvar to score his fourth international goal.
Maldonado received a yellow card in the 115th minute for pulling down César Huerta with a slide tackle from behind.
Santiago Giménez, Johan Vásquez, and Orbelin Pineda converted for Mexico. Bryan Róchez was saved by Luis Malagón, while Bryan Acosta and Alberth Elis scored for the United States.
Menjivar jumped left and right to stop Huerta’s third attempt, which was outside the fingers of the goalkeeper.
For a 3-1 aggregate lead, Canada scored in the 25th minute from Alphonso Davies, but Jamaica scored in the 63rd and 66th minutes from Shamar Nicholson. The Reggae Boyz scored in the 78th after Mexican referee César Ramos called Stephen Eustáquio for a hand ball. Although Ismael Koné scored in the 69th minute to move Canada back ahead, Bobby Decordova-Reid converted a penalty kick for the Reggae Boyz.
In the 84th minute, Demarai Gray received his second yellow card.