Football - Country profile: Honduras

The 2,500-1 outsiders have the odds stacked against them, but will be hoping for a tropical draw.

Reuters
Football - Country profile: Honduras
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Nov 16, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo (17) trips Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios (8) during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. (Reuters)

Form and Prospects

Few teams will hoping to be drawn in tropical Manaus or Fortleza but Honduras could be an exception.

The Central Americans like it hot and thrived in difficult playing conditions during the qualifying competition, staging home games in sauna-like conditions in San Pedro Sula and beating Mexico away in the heat and altitude of the Azteca stadium.

Playing in Latin America will be a huge advantage to Honduras and could help them improve on an uninspiring display at the 2010 World Cup when they managed to complete their group without scoring a goal.

The most physical of the Central American sides, typified by the burly hard-tackling presence of Wilson Palacios in the centre of midfield, they can also produce moments of skill and deft touches.

Honduras lost only three of their 16 qualifiers where the high points were a 8-1 home win over Canada, a 2-1 defeat of the United States and the famous Azteca triumph.

It was not all plain sailing, especially when striker Jerry Bengtson walked out of the squad after being left on the bench against Jamaica. He was readmitted after apologising to his team-mates and finished with nine goals in the qualifiers.

Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez

A former player in his native Colombia, the 53-year-old Suarez is heading to the World Cup for the second time, having led Ecuador to the second round of the finals in 2006.

He quit as Ecuador's national coach in 2009 before taking up the Honduras job in 2011.

Suarez has also coached at club level in Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil.

Key player: Carlo Costly

The 31-year-old striker who plays for Guizhou Xhicheng in China, is one of the most experienced players in the Honduras team, having made 68 appearances for Honduras, scoring 30 goals.

He is also one of the most travelled members of the team, having played professionally in Honduras, Mexico, Poland, England, Romania, the United States, Greece and China, where he is currently plundering goals.

Despite helping Honduras qualify for the 2010 World Cup, he missed the tournament because of injury but gets his chance this time after scoring seven goals in the latest qualifying campaign.

How they qualified

CONCACAF Final round: 3rd.

World Cup record

Previous appearances in finals: Two (1982, 2010).

Best performances: Group Stage (1982, 2010).

Odds

2500/1

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