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Honduras in World Cup for only 2nd time

Honduras in World Cup for only 2nd time

Honduras qualified for the World Cup for only the second time, and for the first since 1982.
The team has several Europe-based players, but they have a tough draw in Group H with European champion Spain, Chile and Switzerland. Honduras, which finished third in its region behind the United States and Mexico, will have a difficult time finishing in the top two and advancing to the second round.
The team will be built around two players from the Premier League _ Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa and Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios.
The two key players up front will be David Suazo, who has moved this year from Inter Milan to Genoa, and 37-year-old Carlos Pavon, who plays in Honduras for Real Espana.
The hope is that players in Europe have upgraded the quality of Honduras' play. Most fans are expecting a better showing than 1982, when Honduras drew two matches, lost the other and failed to advance.
"We have tremendous potential," said Jose de la Paz Herrera, who coached the Honduran team 28 years ago. "The majority of our players are in Europe. This is an advantage we did not have in the World Cup in Spain and I feel we can have a strong showing."
Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda is a Colombian who has instilled discipline and fitness, but his team may need to find the kind of miracle it received in qualifying for the World Cup from the CONCACAF region.
Honduras defeated El Salvador 1-0 in its final qualifying match in October. In a match being played simultaneously, Costa Rica was beating the United States 2-1, a result that would have automatically advanced Costa Rica. But the Americans scored five minutes into injury time for a 2-2 draw, a result that put Honduras into the World Cup and left Costa Rica in a playoff against Uruguay for another spot. Uruguay eventually prevailed, ousting Costa Rica.


Updated : 2021-07-31 04:32 GMT+08:00