MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – One of CONCACAF’s most intense rivalries will next play out on the Gold Cup’s main stage Friday as El Salvador meets Group B leader Honduras at Sun Life Stadium.
The Hondurans top the group with three points thanks a 2-0 win over Haiti on Monday, while the Salvadorians sit on one point by virtue of a 2-2 draw with Trinidad & Tobago.
El Salvador’s Rodolfo Zelaya is looking forward to the encounter and should play despite a minor injury.
“I think I am in good form and only had a little blister on my foot but I am training again and want to play," he said. "We know that if we defeat Honduras we stand a great chance of advancing and that is one of our goals for the Gold Cup."
Zelaya said his relentless attacking style was a natural instinct.
“I love to score and whenever I get a chance to do so I will take a shot," he said. "The more goals we as a team score the better our chances and a striker I try to do my part. Also like I keep telling everyone, we are a fast team and we have to use our speed to our advantage."
His strike partner, Rafael Burgos, shared the same view.
“I’m ready to play and excited to play," he said. "This is a new match and I am excited to play. As a forward I always look forward to scoring a goal but I always say that it’s more important that the team wins and not the individual player glory.”
Honduras has been boosted by the return of striker Jerry Palacios but he is unlikely to play.
"No, he will not start because he is not ready, but I am glad he is here,” said head coach Luis Fernando Suarez.
Palacios did not arrive in time for the opener because of passport issues.
“I am happy to be here in the group," commented Palacios. "I went through a tough situation losing my passport, but I’m here now and we [Honduras] are going to continue to get points and I want the team to achieve its objectives and keep working."
This will be the second meeting between Honduras and El Salvador in 2013. They played to a 1-1 draw in the first round of the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Jerry Bengtson gave the Hondurans as 75th minute lead, before Burgos equalized two minutes later.
Liga de Campeones