EAST RUTHERFORD – Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares saved a penalty in regulation for the second time in as many matches Saturday as Honduras topped Costa Rica in a penalty shootout to reach the Gold Cup semi-finals.
After extra time ended with the teams level at 1-1, Costa Rica’s Celso Borges and Alvaro Saborio both hit the crossbar on their shootout attempts and Honduras won the decider 4-2.
Jerry Bengston had given Honduras the lead in the 49th minute, with Dennis Marshall equalizing in the 56th.
Valladares made sure the match stayed level in the 76th with a diving stop of Saborio’s penalty attempt.
Carlo Costly, Victor Bernardez, Wilson Palacios and Bengston all converted in the penalty shoot-out for Honduras.
Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell converted in the shoot-out for Costa Rica.
In Houston on Wednesday, Honduras will face defending champions Mexico, who rallied to beat Guatemala, 2-1, Saturday night at New Meadowlands Stadium.
The remaining two quarterfinals are scheduled for Sunday in Washington, where the United States will face Jamaica and Panama will take on El Salvador.
The winner of the regional championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean will book a berth in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.