GROUP E
Honduras

THE 60-SECOND OVERVIEW

Hondurans see their side as a potential surprise package – but it would be a genuine shock if their hopes were realised. The team has lost its edge up front over recent years, and seem happy playing a no-nonsense 4-4-2.

Colombian manager Luis Fernando Suarez is convinced he has been doing the right thing by turning Honduras into a workmanlike unit whose focus is on destroying the opposition’s game first and trying to do something with the ball later. Expect lots of tackling and little flair, as a group of committed players attempt to become this year’s equivalent of Cameroon 1990.

THE DREAM

Win a game. In their two World Cups played so far (1982 and 2010), Honduras have lost three and drawn three. There’s no shame there, but winning just one match in Brazil would instantly become the country’s best football moment of all time.

In South Africa 2010, the team snatched a 0-0 against Switzerland (one of their opponents again this time), while the chance of taking down Ecuador appears eminently possible.

THE NIGHTMARE

Three defeats, and a second successive goalless World Cup. There were worrying signs during their 5-0 loss to Brazil in a recent friendly: Honduras’ defending was amateurish, and they looked beaten from the first minute.

A performance like that against France’s Ribery & Co. would surely end with a thrashing. Clean sheets are rare: they shipped 13 goals in their 10 qualifiers, including four against Panama. So far, Honduras have only conceded six goals in six World Cup games; they’ll be happy to keep it at roughly that rate this time round.

THE STATS
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PLAYER MOST LIKELY TO...

HAVE THE MOST FOOTBALLERY NAME: BONIEK GARCIA

Named in homage to Polish legend Zbigniew Boniek, the former Wigan Athletic target, currently at Houston Dynamo, has been voted the best Latino player of the MLS.

PLAYER MOST LIKELY TO...

MAKE A SUPERB SAVE: NOEL VALLADARES

The 36-year-old goalkeeper caught the eye at South Africa 2010, and was chosen as Man of the Match against Switzerland, having already made one of the tournament’s best stops against Chile’s Waldo Ponce.

PLAYER MOST LIKELY TO...

BE HAILED AS A MIRACLE: JORGE CLAROS

In June 2011, the Motagua midfielder, nicknamed Pitbull, was attacked while driving his car: he received two gunshots, one in the shoulder and one in the head. Doctors managed to remove both bullets without any damage done.

DID YOU KNOW?

After HONDURAS qualifIED for the World Cup, the Government declared a National Holiday. Now the Congress is considering a law to give citizens the day off whenever the side is playing. Attention, David Cameron…

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They could lack goals, points and anything of interest – but then again they could pull off a shock. They certainly won't be pushovers.