Monday, June 18, 2007

GC Obit: Honduras

While I stand firm that Costa Rica is the biggest disappointment in the tournament (two consecutive World Cup appearances, showed little in this tourney), Honduras might be the biggest fraud.

In a span of four games, Honduras showed exactly why they can be dangerous and why they won't be anytime soon. Physically, Honduras is gifted. The win against Mexico was brilliant soccer. From the start, Honduras attacked and stood toe-to-toe with Mexico. Honduras was the superior side on the field that day, 11-on-11 or 11-on-10. After what should have been a confidence-building 5-0 win over Cuba, Honduras regressed back to late 2001.

Actually, Oct. 7, 2001. Honduras was on a roll and headed for the 2002 World Cup. Needing just a victory over Trinidad & Tobago in Tegucigalpa to all but wrap up a spot - and leave one place for the U.S. and Mexico to fight over - Honduras collapsed. Trinidad, who had exactly zero wins before the game, dealt a lethal blow to Honduras. Instead of sitting on 17 points entering the final game against Mexico (who sat on 14), Honduras went to Estadio Azteca needing a win to qualify. Yeah, right.

Honduras has all the makings of a strong regional side but until they develop a winning mentality, the catrachos will be perennial underachievers.

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