Honduras Preview – Group E Underdogs
World Cup 2014
On paper, Honduras have a solid record of just three defeats in their last twelve, but the bulk of those games were against CONCACAF sides, and in their only game against a serious World Cup contender, they were thrashed 5-0 by Brazil.
Still, it is worth noting that on form, they are better than fellow CONCACAF qualifiers Mexico and Costa Rica, having beaten the former once and the latter twice, and they also have managed a draw against South American qualifiers Ecuador, a team they will meet in their second Group E game.
Honduras reached the CONCACAF Fourth Round Qualifying Group thanks to an 8-1 thrashing of Canada in their final third round game.
They made a solid start by beating the USA and drawing with Mexico, but a run of three defeats in four games put their qualification in jeopardy, before a crucial 2-1 win in Mexico City got their campaign back on track. They went through their last three games undefeated, securing their World Cup spot with a 2-2 draw in Jamaica.
The Honduran squad has plenty of experience and will depend hugely on the all-action midfield displays of Stoke City’s Wilson Palacios and the resolute defensive work of Hull’s Maynor Figueroa.
Their most talented player is probably Celtic’s full-back Emilio Izaguirre, who will provide the main attacking impetus down the left flank. Otherwise, the squad is full of hard-working journeymen who will run all day, but lacks creative flair.
If France once again demonstrate their remarkable and often hilarious ability to implode, then it is not completely impossible that Honduras could pull off one of the World Cup’s greatest surprises in their opening game.
Realistically though it is their second fixture against Ecuador that will be their focus.
Los Catrachos have never won a game at the World Cup Finals.
But this is a golden opportunity to break that duck against a team that they nearly beat in a friendly last November and which is far less effective when not playing at altitude.
Even if France have another shambolic campaign, it is hard to see them not qualifying from Group E along with Switzerland, one of the tournament’s dark horses. Honduras will work hard and will be perfectly at home in the sweltering conditions, but it is hard to see them troubling the European teams given their lack of quality up front. So even at big odds, the Hondurans make little appeal as potential Group E qualifiers
But coach Luis Fernando Suarez knows that returning home with a first World Cup victory to his name would be a significant achievement and his side will pull out all the stops in their second game against an Ecuador side that can blow hot and cold. Back Honduras at 18/4 in the Honduras v Ecuador Match Betting market.