Monday, July 30, 2012

London Calling: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Wembley

After an excellent first day in the 2012 London Games medal count for Latin America, days two and three have provided plenty of action for the region’s athletes. The biggest moment occurred on Sunday with one of the biggest upsets in Olympics soccer history.

An early Jerry Bengston goal for Honduras was enough to beat Spain by a score of 1-0 and eliminate them from the games.

The Spaniards, who were one of the favorites to win gold, were stymied by a physical Honduran defense at St. James' Park in Newcastle. Coach Luis Suarez’ decision to not tinker with the lineup that tied the first group match with Morocco paid off after Bengston’s powerful header beat David De Gea in the seventh minute.

Los Catrachos withheld a second-half Spanish onslaught that included a trio of shots that hit the posts and crossbar.

“Undoubtedly this triumph is a historic achievement for our players,” declared Honduran president Porfirio Lobo who also said that the team’s “toughness and unity” should serve as “an example for the Honduran people”.

After the game Spain’s Iker Muniain vociferously complained about the poor officiating of Venezuelan referee Juan Soto and accused his rivals of “being blown upon and falling down” in order to draw fouls. Yet Spain had several iffy calls in their favor including Muniain not being sent off after he angrily bumped Soto late in the match.

Honduras wasn’t the only Latin American side involved in an upset on Sunday after Uruguay fell 1-0 to Senegal. Meanwhile, Brazil overcame an early deficit to beat Belarus 3-1 while Giovani Dos Santos scored both goals in Mexico’s win over Gabon.

Several Latin American athletes earned silver medals in competition on yesterday and today:
  • The Mexican duo of German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia obtained their country’s first medals of the games after a second-place finish in men’s synchronized diving.
  • Colombian weightlifter Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera lifted a total of 317 kilos, which was sufficient to capture silver in the men's 62 kg class.
  • Cuba got its first medal of this Olympics when Acosta Bermoy won silver in 48kg women’s judo on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Greek judo champion Ioulietta Boukouvala accused Cuban rival Yurileidys Lupetey Cobas of biting her while Colombian soccer player Lady Andrade was suspended for two games after punching Abby Wambach of the U.S. on Saturday.

Video Source – YouTube via ChelseaSwagHD

Online Sources –, BBC Sport, Huffington Post,, Reuters, ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, Soccer by Ives, AFP

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