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Honduras Rallies Past US in Cup Qualifier

  • This booking photo released by the Thornton Colorado Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, shows Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. Helton was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton, the team announced Wednesday. No other details have been released.(AP Photo/Thornton Police Dept)

    This booking photo released by the Thornton Colorado Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, shows Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. Helton was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton, the team announced Wednesday. No other details have been released.(AP Photo/Thornton Police Dept)

  • This booking photo released by the Thornton Colorado Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, shows Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. Helton was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton, the team announced Wednesday. No other details have been released.(AP Photo/Thornton Police Dept)

    This booking photo released by the Thornton Colorado Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, shows Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. Helton was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton, the team announced Wednesday. No other details have been released.(AP Photo/Thornton Police Dept)

  • FILE- In this April 24, 2012, file photo, Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton warms up on deck during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Helton has been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, the team announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. The team says Helton was arrested Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton. No other details have been released. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

    FILE- In this April 24, 2012, file photo, Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton warms up on deck during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Helton has been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, the team announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. The team says Helton was arrested Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton. No other details have been released. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • FILE- In this April 24, 2012, file photo, Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton warms up on deck during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Helton has been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, the team announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. The team says Helton was arrested Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton. No other details have been released. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

    FILE- In this April 24, 2012, file photo, Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton warms up on deck during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Helton has been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, the team announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. The team says Helton was arrested Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton. No other details have been released. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • This booking photo released by the Thornton Colorado Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, shows Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. Helton was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton, the team announced Wednesday. No other details have been released.(AP Photo/Thornton Police Dept)
  • This booking photo released by the Thornton Colorado Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, shows Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. Helton was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton, the team announced Wednesday. No other details have been released.(AP Photo/Thornton Police Dept)
  • FILE- In this April 24, 2012, file photo, Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton warms up on deck during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Helton has been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, the team announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. The team says Helton was arrested Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton. No other details have been released. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
  • FILE- In this April 24, 2012, file photo, Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton warms up on deck during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Helton has been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, the team announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. The team says Helton was arrested Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton. No other details have been released. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Jerry Bengston took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, and Honduras rallied to beat the United States 2-1 yesterday in the opener of the final qualifying round for next year’s World Cup.

Clint Dempsey put the U.S. ahead in the 36th minute but the Americans, using a new-look defense that featured Omar Gonzalez and Timmy Chandler, gave up the lead when Juan Carlos Garcia tied the score with a bicycle kick in the 40th at San Pedro Sula.

Bengston, who plays for Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution, scored the winner when defender Geoff Cameron and goalkeeper Tim Howard both went for a pass by Maynor Figueroa to Oscar Boniek Garcia. That allowed Garcia to tap the ball across to Bengston for a shot into an open net, and Gonzalez was too late to challenge him.

“Overall, there were too many mistakes done and too many players today just didn’t reach their usual potential,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “They stayed behind their own game and therefore, it’s really difficult coming away with a win here if you’re not having everybody 100 percent at their limits.”

Playing without Landon Donovan, a veteran of three World Cups who is unsure whether to continue his career, the 28th-ranked U.S. was under pressure for much of the match. No. 59 Honduras had the better chances, forcing Howard into several difficult saves

Gonzalez had a chance to redeem himself, getting his head on a corner kick by Graham Zusi in the final seconds of stoppage time. But his shot from the 6-yard box sailed well above the crossbar.

The U.S., which had been 12-3-3 against Honduras, lost its final-round opener for the first time in five games since the “hexagonal” format was adopted in qualifying for the 1998 tournament. The Americans are seeking their seventh straight tip to soccer’s showcase.

Baseball

Rockies Star Arrested

Denver — The Colorado Rockies and star first baseman Todd Helton are facing the harsh reality on the eve of his farewell season that the longtime face of the franchise now has a police mug shot.

The five-time All-Star was arrested about 2:30 a.m. yesterday in the Denver suburb of Thornton and charged with drunken driving and careless driving.

In a statement released by the Rockies, Helton said he’s embarrassed and apologized to his family, the team and the community.

“I hold myself to a high standard and take my responsibility as a public figure very seriously,” he said, adding, “I humbly ask your forgiveness.”

Helton was arrested after someone called police to report a drunken driver, police said. They say Helton’s blood-alcohol content was over the legal limit but they haven’t released the number.

Helton is a career .320 hitter. The 39-year-old played only 69 games last year before undergoing hip surgery in August. Afterward, the smooth-fielding first baseman known as much for his glove work as for his big bat considered retiring but decided last month to return for the final season of his contract.

Skiing

American Ligety
Wins Super-G Title

Schladming, Austria — Ted Ligety showed off his improvement in the speed events on the biggest of stages.

Building on his giant slalom skills, the American won his first super-G title yesterday, surprising even himself with a world championship.

In front of a crowd of 24,000, Ligety took a lot of risks in the turning final section and mastered the Planai course in 1 minute, 23.96 seconds.

Gauthier De Tessieres of France was 0.20 back in second in another stunning result, and Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who won three of the four World Cup super-Gs this season, was another 0.02 back in third.

Defending champion Christof Innerhofer of Italy finished 1.09 off the pace in seventh.

“Today was unbelievable,” said Ligety, who was the 10th starter. “It was a nerve-racking 30 minutes, waiting for all the favorites to come down. (To) finally see (Svindal) come down right behind me was a huge weight off my shoulders.”

Ligety made a super-G podium only once before, finishing second in a World Cup at Val d’Isere, France, in 2009. This season, he’s finished fourth in two races.

Ligety became the third American to win the world super-G title in the past 12 years after Daron Rahlves in St. Anton, Austria, in 2001 and Bode Miller in Bormio, Italy, four years later.

The gold is Ligety’s second worlds medal, two years after winning the giant slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

NFL Football

Giants Cut 2

East Rutherford, n.j. — The New York Giants continued their roster purge after missing the playoffs, cutting halfback Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty.

The release of the two starters came one day after New York let starting weakside linebacker Michael Boley go after four seasons.

The three players were all veterans who contributed to the Giants’ Super Bowl win over the Patriots a year ago.

Tennis

Nadal Wins in Chile

Vina Del Mar, Chile — Rafael Nadal rebounded from a poor start to defeat Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-2 yesterday in the second round of the VTR Open.

It was his first singles match since losing in Wimbledon more than seven months ago.