Posts Tagged ‘Honduras’
The semi finals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup take place in a double-header at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Wednesday night with Honduras and Panama standing in the way of a fourth successive United States versus Mexico final. Panama were the last team to break the domination of the big two in 2005, when they made the final but lost out to the United States on penalties at the Giants Stadium. The USA retained their title two years later with a 2-1 final win over Mexico at Soldier Field in Chicago, but the Mexicans had their revenge in 2009 with a thumping 5-0 win over their neighbours at the Giants Stadium and they beat the hosts again in 2011, winning 4-2 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
This time around, the United States are up against Honduras in the first of the two semi finals. The United States have been the form team of the tournament so far and had no trouble brushing aside El Salvador 5-1 in their quarter final whereas Honduras came through a much tighter affair with a 1-0 win against Costa Rica last night. Mexico, who beat Trinidad and Tobago by a single goal in their quarter final, must face Panama, who came from a goal behind to crush Cuba 6-1 at the same stage.
Honduras won their Gold Cup group with two wins and a defeat after they had already sewn up top spot but they lost to the Americans in a World Cup Qualifier in Utah last month with Jozy Altidore scoring the only goal of the game in the second half and the United States are now on a nine game winning streak, so they will be favourites to progress to the final after winning all three of their group games and having scored sixteen goals in their four Gold Cup games so far. Mexico and Panama met in their opening Group A match and Panama ran out 2-1 winners going on to win the group a point ahead of the Mexicans in second place. Mexico have travelled to the tournament with an experimental, all home-based, squad of players, having also competed in the Confederations Cup this summer and opting to send a second string selection to the Gold Cup. Therefore, they could be ripe for another upset against the in-form Panamanians, who are spearheaded by twenty four year old Zamora striker Gabriel Torres, joint top scorer in the tournament with five goals from his three games.
The United States moved two points clear at the top of the CONCACAF final World Cup 2014 qualifying group as the competition reached its half way point last night. A 2-0 win for the USA against Panama lifted them clear of both Costa Rica and Mexico, who drew 0-0, whilst Honduras beat Jamaica to stay within three points of top spot.
The United States took on Panama at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, home of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders, and Jurgen Klinsmann’s team went ahead in the thirty sixth minute when left-back Fabian Johnson of Hoffenheim sent in a low cross for AZ Alkmaar’s Jozy Altidore to convert at the far post. It stayed that way until the fifty third minute when Seattle Sounders’ Eddie Johnson latched on to a ball from Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron and beat Jaime Penedo in the Panama goal to delight his hometown fans with the second goal of the night. The USA hit the woodwork a couple of times as they threatened to build on their lead later in the second half but two nil remained the scoreline despite some late pressure from Panama.
At the Estadio Azteca in the Mexican capital, Mexico played their third qualifier of the week but again struggled to find the net as their run of bad form in front of goal went from worrying to critical. This time Costa Rica were the opponents but for all the attacking talents of Hernandez, De Nigris, Guardado, Barrera and co Keilor Navas’ goal stood firm and Mexico were shut out for the second time in four days. They have now scored only three goals in their six group matches and only one in their last four. At least they’re doing something right at the other end where they have conceded only two goals and kept five clean sheets in their six matches but they desperately need some new ideas going forward in the final third as their regional rivals seem to have well and truly worked out how to stifle their threat and the fans are losing patience with the unproductive football. Club America youngster Raul Jimenez and Giovani dos Santos were both thrown on up front in the second half, but to no avail.
Honduras beat Jamaica 2-0 at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino in Tegucigalpa in the third match of the night with an early goal from Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia Ramirez setting them on their way. Jamaica were reduced to ten men in the seventy sixth minute when Reading’s Adrian Mariappa was dismissed and Honduras capitalised on their numerical advantage two minutes from time when Olimpia’s Roger Fabrizio Rojas Lazo grabbed the second goal of the night to seal the victory.
The United States, with ten points from their five games, are now two points ahead of Costa Rica and Mexico, with the Mexicans at the disadvantage of having played a game more. The top three teams go through automatically to next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, and the fourth placed team will face a play off against New Zealand. Honduras currently occupy fourth spot, a point clear of Panama, with winless Jamaica a distant sixth. The group table now stands as follows:
Taking part in the World Cup really was what counted most for Honduras. Their dramatic last-gasp qualification for only their second ever finals appearance will live long in the memory of all Honduran football fans who nervously held their breath waiting for the result of the USA-Costa Rica match to come in. The team had an unimpressive build up to the finals and a tough draw against Chile, Spain and Switzerland in Group H meant that few expected them to achieve much in South Africa.
They were thoroughly outplayed for long periods in their opening game against Chile as the South Americans dominate the possession and created numerous chances but repeatedly failed to convert them into goals. The expected avalanche didn’t materialise and Honduras defended doggedly to restrict Chile to a solitary strike from Jean Beausejour in the 34th minute. The Hondurans faced European champions Spain in their second group game and prepared themselves for a potential backlash with Spain having also been beaten in their opener. Again they were under the cosh from the start as Villa hit the bar early on and Ramos had a good chance before they fell behind to a stunning individual goal from Villa in the 17th minute.
It was one way traffic throughout and Honduras didn’t manage a single shot on target in the 90 minutes. They fell two behind in the 51st minute when Villa doubled his personal tally with a shot from just outside the box that beat Valladares with the aid of a wicked deflection. There was a slight reprieve for the Hondurans when Villa put a penalty wide of the post in the 63rd minute but in the end they were well beaten and glad to keep the score down.
The final group game against Switzerland won’t live long in the memory of anyone who sat through it, but the goalless draw in Bloemfontein did give Honduras their only point of the tournament. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to lift them off the bottom of the group table and they finished fourth, the only team other than Algeria not to find the net in any of their three games. They did manage to play some attractive football in short bursts but lacked firepower and were somewhat out of their depth in this group. The players will doubtless have benefited from their World Cup experience and who knows, they may come back stronger next time.
The Honduran squad submitted to FIFA was as follows:
NUMBER – POSITION – NAME – AGE- CLUB
1 – GK – Ricardo CANALES – 28 – Motagua
18 – GK – Noel VALLADARES – 33 – Olimpia Tegucigalpa
22 – GK – Donis ESCOBER – 29 – Olimpia Tegucigalpa
2 – DF – Osman CHAVEZ – 25 – Platense
3 – DF – Maynor FIGUEROA – 27 – Wigan
4 – DF – Jhony PALACIOS – 23 – Olimpia Tegucigalpa
5 – DF – Victor BERNARDEZ – 28 – Anderlecht
14 – DF – Oscar GARCIA – 25 – Olimpia Tegucigalpa
16 – DF – Mauricio SABILLON – 31 – Hangzhou Greentown
21 – DF – Emilio IZAGUIRRE – 24 – Motagua
23 – DF – Sergio MENDOZA – 29 – Motagua
6 – MF – Hendry THOMAS – 25 – Wigan
7 – MF – Ramon NUNEZ – 24 – Olimpia Tegucigalpa
8 – MF – Wilson PALACIOS – 25 – Tottenham Hotspur
10 – MF – Julio Cesar DE LEON – 30 – Torino
17 – MF – Edgar ALVAREZ – 30 – Bari
19 – MF – Danilo TURCIOS – 32 – Olimpia Tegucigalpa
20 – MF – Amado GUEVARA – 34 – Motagua
9 – FW – Carlos PAVON – 36 – Real Espana
11 – FW – David SUAZO – 30 – Genoa
12 – FW – George WELCOME – 25 – Motagua
13 – FW – Roger ESPINOZA – 23 – Kansas City Wizards
15 – FW – Walter MARTINEZ – 28 – Marathon
What to write about a goalless draw between Honduras and Azerbaijan when you haven’t seen the match, and apparently neither has anybody else judging by the lack of information out there. I can’t even find the starting line ups at the moment. Needless to say, it probably wasn’t the best of games and the result isn’t particularly encouraging for the Central Americans ahead of their World Cup campaign.
Here are the bare facts as I understand them. The match took place in Zell Am See, Austria today. There were no goals and Azerbaijan had left-back Sasa Yunisoglu sent off in the 73rd minute, which makes the result look even worse from a Honduran point of view. Berti Vogts has obviously moulded his Azerbaijani side into a tough unit that is hard to break down. Either that or the Hondurans have a lot of work to do on the creative side of their game. It is rumoured that they only managed one shot on goal in the entire game.
Coupled with their other recent results, this latest set back looks ominous for Reynaldo Rueda’s team. They haven’t won in four games and were beaten 1-0 at home in San Pedro Sula in their send off match against Venezuela. They then drew 2-2 with Belarus in Villach, Austria last week and now have only one more chance to clock up a confidence boosting victory ahead of the finals. They face Romania in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria on the 5th of June before heading for the finals in South Africa.
Actually, credit to Soccernet – I’ve just noticed that their excellent World Cup website now has the team information for this game so that data has been included below.
Azerbaijan 0-0 Honduras (02/06/2010)
45 Chavez for Figueroa
45 Espinoza for Palacios
45 Thomas for Guevara
68 Turcios for Leon
68 Pavon for Suazo
77 Garcia for Alvarez