Honduras v Ecuador – Americas’ Stalemate
Honduras v Ecuador
A must-win game for both Honduras and Ecuador, I take a look at the best value bets on offer.
Honduras disappointed in their opening Group E game and somewhat sadly felt that they had to resort to ruffing up the French with some unnecessarily meaty tackles. Just as they had done in their recent friendly match with England in Miami.
The French were ultimately too good, however. And after Wilson Palacios was sent off and Karim Benzema converted the resulting penalty on the stroke of half time the result was never in doubt. Goalkeeper Noel Valladares was harshly credited with an own-goal, following a goal-line technology debacle just after the interval and then Benzema added a second midway through the second period to put the result beyond any reasonable doubt.
Honduras have now won just one of their last eight fixtures and have failed to score in three of the last four.
Ecuador were slightly unlucky losers in their opening match against Switzerland. Having taken the lead in the first half through Enner Valencia they were pegged back just after the interval and the game looked to be heading towards a draw. Then in the dying exchanges, Ecuador having just been denied themselves, the Swiss hit on the counterattack to steal the points in the 90th minute.
La Tri have also won just one in their last eight games, but can at least boast draws against England, Holland and Argentina in that period.
Wilson Palacios is unavailable for Honduras following the red card that he received in the opening game. Having played half the match with ten men there could be some tired legs in the Honduran camp and that may lead Luis Fernando Suárez to make a few changes.
Midfielder Segundo Castillo was left out of Ecuador’s World Cup squad due to a nasty knee injury. Reinaldo Rueda has no fresh injury concerns going into this game.
The two sides met in November of last year, just before the World Cup draw was made, and played out a 2-2 draw. Carlos Costly scored both of Honduras’s goals, while Jaime Ayovi and Enner Valencia scored for the South Americans.
Familiar foes, Ecuador and Honduras have met 10 times this century, with six of those games ending in a draw (five of them with 1-1 scorelines) and each country winning two games each.
Both teams need to go for the win so we should expect to see an entertaining battle in keeping with the majority of Brazil 2014. Ecuador, being the stronger footballing nation and having produced the better performance in their opening match, deserve to be favourites, but look way too short at odds of 4/6. Just because both teams need a win does not mean that either will get it, and the draw looks a good value bet at odds of 16/5. Particularly given the recent head-to-head record as mentioned above.
Also look out for the bookings markets when they appear and pick out a bet on the referees notebook being filled up. Honduras were particularly feisty in their opening game against France and in the recent friendly against England, while Ecuador were also keen to put in a strong challenge in their England friendly fixture.