Keisuke Honda on target in Pachuca defeat

Kyodo

Keisuke Honda provided one of the highlights of the match Saturday with a dazzling free-kick goal, but it wasn’t enough to stop 10-man Pachuca going down 2-3 to visiting Morelia in the Mexican first division.

The home side took the lead thanks to a long-range effort from midfielder Erick Gutierrez in the 19th minute, but Carlos Guzman struck back for the visitors five minutes before the break.

Pachuca was forced to play the entire second half a man short after Jorge Daniel Hernandez earned a red card for a late challenge on Peruvian striker Raul Ruidiaz in first half injury time.

Gaston Lezcano put the visitors ahead six minutes into the second half, before dead-ball specialist Honda was given the opportunity to even the slate in the 60th minute.

The Japan midfielder struck from 35 meters out with his left foot, sending his shot over the wall before it dipped away from outstretched goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa and into the back of the net.

Ruidiaz sealed the game for Morelia from the penalty spot in the 74th minute, putting them within a point of top spot on table.

The goal was Honda’s second in as many matches and his third-overall in the second stage of the Mexican league’s two-stage season.

Pachuca, the reigning CONCACAF Champions League titleholder, is 14th after five games in the stage.