Jonathan Bornstein headed in a corner kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time, giving the United States a 2-2 tie against Costa Rica on Wednesday night that put Honduras in next year's World Cup.
Bryan Ruiz scored twice in a four minute-span midway through the first half to give Costa Rica a 2-0 lead, but Michael Bradley cut the U.S. deficit in the 72nd minute.
With the United States playing a man short following after defender Oguchi Onyewu tore a tendon in his left knee and Costa Rica less just 20 seconds or so from qualifying, Bornstein headed in a corner kick from second-half substitute Robbie Rogers from about 7 yards.
At the end, U.S. players held up a banner with the number "9" of teammate Charlie Davies, who was seriously injured in a car crash Tuesday and is unlikely to play in next year's World Cup.
Onyewu fell down on the slick turf and was diagnosed with a torn patellar tendon, an injury that usually requires a recovery time of three to four months. Because the U.S. had used its three substitutes, he couldn't be replaced.
The United States (6-2-2), which clinched a berth last weekend, topped North and Central America and the Caribbean for the second straight qualifying cycle by finishing one point ahead of Mexico (6-3-1), which tied 2-2 at last-place Trinidad and Tobago.
Honduras (5-4-1) won 1-0 at El Salvador and qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1982, finishing ahead of Costa Rica (5-4-1) on goal difference, plus-2 to even.
The Ticos face a two-match playoff against Uruguay, hosting the first leg Nov. 14 before playing in South America four days later. New Costa Rica coach Rene Simoes was ejected in the 88th minute after arguing with officials and faces a possible suspension by FIFA from one or both games.
Ruiz beat goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 21st and 24th minutes, and it appeared Costa Rica would send the United States to only its second home loss in qualifying since 1985. Red, white and blue flags _ the ones without the stars in the upper left corner deck _ were waved in triumph all over the upper deck of RFK Stadium.
On the game's first goal, Onyewu let Ruiz go past with relative ease at the left edge of the penalty area, and the forward put his close-range shot between Howard's legs.
Solid three-man ball movement set up Ruiz in the 24th, giving him space to put his 19-yard left-footed shot into the upper left corner of the net.
Davies, projected to a be starter at the World Cup, broke two bones in his right leg and one in his left elbow and sustained a lacerated bladder and facial fractures in the one-vehicle accident early Tuesday. He will be hospitalized for at least a week and is expected to take six to 12 months to recover.
Davies was remembered by the American fans in the lower bowl of RFK, who held up white cards with a black No. 9 _ Davies' jersey number _ during the ninth minute of the game. Other fans waved large banners that read "Get Well Charlie" and "(heart) CD."
Jozy Altidore, who started in place of Davies, wore his teammate's number under his jersey.