Roger Espinoza and Soni Mustivar

Two Sporting Kansas City midfielders represented their countries on Friday as the semifinal round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification resumed in the CONCACAF region. Roger Espinoza went 90 minutes for Honduras in a 2-2 draw at El Salvador, while Soni Mustivar played the entirety of Haiti's scoreless stalemate with Panama.


Espinoza recorded the 48th cap of his international career as Honduras manager Jorge Luis Pinto deployed him on the right side of Los Catrachos' four-man midfield. The visitors took the lead on either side of halftime, with Alberth Elis drawing first blood in the 19th minute and Antony Lozano scoring just before the hour mark. Honduras was denied victory, however, by a pair of late El Salvador goals in both halves. Pablo Punyed was on target in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, and Nelson Bonilla conjured an equalizer in the 88th minute.

Honduras (0-2-1, 1 point) occupies last place in Group A, behind leaders Mexico (9 points), Canada (4 points) and El Salvador (2 points) with three games remaining in the semifinal round of qualifying. Honduras will host El Salvador at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT. A victory in that match and a Canada loss at Mexico would vault Los Catrachos to second place in the group. The top two finishers from the three qualifying groups will advance to the final round of qualifying — commonly referred to as "The Hexagonal" — beginning in October.


Mustivar made his 10th international appearance for Haiti on Friday, occupying his familiar defensive midfield spot at Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince. Visiting Panama was limited to just two shots on goal as Haiti picked up its first point in the semifinal stage.
Haiti (0-2-1, 1 point) sits in the same position as Honduras halfway through the penultimate qualifying round. Mustivar's team is last in Group B, but within striking distance of Panama and Jamaica, who have four points each. Costa Rica tops the group with seven points. Haiti will now travel to Panama for Tuesday's return leg at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, with kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. CT.