Honduras' Carlo Costly (pictured) celebrates after scoring against Ecuador in a FIFA World Cup match on June 20, 2014 in Curitiba, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
MANAUS, Brazil -- Despite having dropped its opening two matches of the 2014 World Cup, Honduras’ performances in Brazil have been characterized by passion, grit and determination. For their efforts, the Catrachos remain in contention for a place in the knockout stages ahead of their final group stage match with Switzerland on Wednesday.
One of the highlights has been Carlo Costly’s goal against Ecuador, the first for Honduras in a World Cup in 32 years.
Tracking down a long clearance in the 31st minute, the hulking 31-year-old striker outpaced the Ecuadorian defense, took a touch to settle the ball and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the back of goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez’s net.
“It might well be the most important goal I’ve scored in my career,” said Costly. “It’s not every day you play in a World Cup and score.”
You could see what it meant to Costly – who plays with Real España, a 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League qualifier – as he ran to the corner flag in celebration, teammates in tow.
“I was so happy when I scored that goal,” said Costly. “Thirty-two years is a long time and a difficult barrier to overcome. That myth, that curse which has been hanging over us for so long has been laid to rest now but, even so, we’ve still got a slightly bitter taste in our mouths because we had a great chance of winning the game. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way, but we played well so we can hold our heads up high.”
Despite the loss, Costly’s goal has given the Hondurans hope that progression is possible.
“Hope is the last thing you lose, as they say, but we know it’ll be a very tough match against the Swiss because we know their game well,” said Costly. “We’re still hopeful and we’ve got faith that everything will turn out well; that’s what we’re clinging on to.”