Honduras – Chile: Can Honduras make it?

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Honduras – Chile

For a football-crazy nation, Honduras’ appearance in the World Cup finals is something that has been long overdue. This is the second time in history that the Central American’s have qualified for the World Cup. The last time they did was 28 years ago in 1982. That time the Catrachos eventually were knocked out in group stage, but not before they had held hosts Spain to a draw in their opening game; Honduras also drew with Northern Ireland. This time around too Honduras have Spain in their group, although their opening game against Chile is in progress at this moment with Chile having scored against them making fans quite worried. In 1982 the Central Americans couldn’t manage a single victory and they would certainly like to alter that record in South Africa, fans are hoping that the tide would change soon.

Honduras faced many problems going into the match against Chile. Injuries struck key players and results too have been disappointing, which led many to believe that they will be a disaster in South Africa. Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda has had to make do without star attacker David Suazo due to injury. He has opted to start with Carlos Pavon as his side’s striker, while Amado Guevarra is the captain for Honduras.

Chile’s last win in a World Cup match on the other hand came way back in 1962 when they got the better of the erstwhile Yugoslavia in the third/fourth place play-off. At the time Chile were the hosts and the third-place finish was indeed a huge success for the South American nation. Since that day, though, Chile have not won a single match in a World Cup. However, Marcelo Bielsa’s side has been looking to set the record straight this time around. Chile have qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1998 and were arguably the most entertaining and aesthetic side in the South American qualifying campaign, in which they finished second – just a point behind World Cup favourites Brazil.

Coach Bielsa’s dynamic and much heralded 3-3-1-3 formation, in which one of the three midfielders protects the backline with the other two joining the attack down the flanks with the idea of playing the entire game in the opposition’s half, resulted in eye-catching displays. Some observers suggest that the South Americans will be one of the more intriguing sides to watch in this World Cup. But Chile have advanced only once beyond the World Cup group stage in six attempts outside of their own country; that was in 1998 when they reached the last 16. At the moment though, Chile is looking quite good, their performance has excelled way beyond that of Honduras even though Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa was not able to use Humberto Suazo up front due to a hamstring injury and couldn’t rely on Alexis Sanchez and Jean Beausejour to provide the South Americans with goals.

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