Chicharito started on the bench as El Tri took an early lead at home to Honduras through Oribe Peralta's sixth-minute strike. But after leading for nearly an hour at the Azteca Stadium, the Mexicans were stunned as a quickfire double from Jerry Bengtson and the brilliantly-named Carlo Costly turned the match on its head. Enter the United striker but on this occasion it was to no avail, although he did hit the woodwork in the 88th minute, as the Hondurans triumphed 2-1 to move above Mexico into one of the three automatic qualifying berths.
It was only Mexico's second home defeat in 78 World Cup qualifying matches and they now face a difficult trip to face USA in Ohio on Tuesday. If Hernandez's nation do finish fourth, they will play off against New Zealand for a place in Brazil.
Ecuador were also beaten in the South American qualifying group, slipping to a 1-0 reverse in Colombia. Antonio Valencia earned his side a penalty just after the hour mark, when he was fouled by the hosts' defender Carlos Sanchez. But instead of firing his team level, Ecuador captain Walter Ayovi spurned the opportunity from the spot and the Colombians held on to win 1-0. The decisive goal was scored in the first half when Monaco striker Radamel Falcao's long-range effort was parried and his club colleague James Rodriguez drove in the rebound. This came just a minute after Ecuador's Gabriel Achilier was sent off. Speaking after the match, Valencia was upset that Brazilian referee Herber Lopes had not awarded a second penalty late on. "Did you not see what just happened?" he asked journalists afterwards. "It was a handball and I'm not happy."