Honduras target maiden win in WC

Honduras target maiden win in WC

Honduras and Ecuador, who lost their opening games, chase a vital World Cup victory on Friday in a game that will see both coaches plotting the downfall of their former teams.

In an unusual twist, Honduras are led by Luis Fernando Suarez, the man who guided Ecuador to the last 16 in 2006, their best showing at a World Cup.

Ecuador are coached by Reinaldo Rueda, who was in charge of Honduras in their 2010 World Cup campaign when they failed to make it past the first round and did not score a goal.

To add to the feeling of familiarity, both coaches are Colombians. The two teams have never met in a competitive fixture but played out eight draws in 13 friendlies.

They will not be able to settle for cancelling each other out on Friday as both need to win to maintain a realistic chance of progressing from a group which also includes France and Switzerland.

Although both teams lost on Sunday, they put in contrasting performances.

Striker Enner Valencia put Ecuador in front against Switzerland but they were eventually beaten 2-1 after conceding  a stoppage time goal.

Honduras lost 3-0 to France and played for more than half the game with 10 men after English based midfielder Wilson Palacios was sent off.

Coach Rueda said his team had got carried away in the final stages of the Swiss game and paid the price for being naive.

Honduras, who have never won a game at the World Cup, will look to strikers Jerry Bengtson and Carlo Costly at least to break a 32-year goal drought.

They have not scored at the finals since they drew 1-1 with Northern Ireland in 1982.
Probable teams: Honduras: 18-Noel Valladares; 21-Brayan Beckeles, 5-Victor Bernardez, 3-Maynor Figueroa, 7-Emilio Izaguirre; 17-Andy Najar, 14-Oscar Boniek Garcia, 19-Luis Garrido, 15-Roger Espinoza; 11-Jerry Bengtson, 13-Carlo Costly.

Ecuador: 22-Alexander Dominguez; 4-Juan Carlos Paredes, 2-Jorge Guagua, 3-Frickson Erazo, 10-Walter Ayovi; 16-Antonio Valencia, 23-Carlos Gruezo, 6-Cristian Noboa, 7-Jefferson Montero; 13-Enner Valencia, 11-Felice Caicedo.

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