Honduras holds off Algeria for Olympic opening win

Antony Lozano (white jersey) scores Honduras' third goal during the Olympic Men's Football match against Algeria on August 4, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO – Honduras’ bid to reach the knockout rounds of a second straight Olympic Football Tournament opened positively with a 3-2 win over Algeria at the Estadio Joao Havelange on Thursday.

The result left the CONCACAF runner-up in second place on goal difference behind Portugal, which beat Argentina, 2-0. 

Romell Quioto put Honduras ahead 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, when – from the goal line -- he put away the rebound of a shot by teammate Antony Lozano that was initially blocked by goalkeeper Farid Chaal.

The lead was extended in the 33rd on an unusual goal. Right-back Kevin Alvarez lifted a pass towards the top of the 18-yard box that connected with the head of Marcelo Pereira, who looped the ball over Chaal, just under the crossbar and barely over the line.

Algeria got into a better rhythm after the break and halved the deficit in the 68th minute. Off a throw-in from the left side, Baghdad Bounedjah flicked a header for Sofiane Bendekba to head past goalkeeper Luis Lopez from 10-yards out.

A piece of good fortune in the 79th minute notched Honduras a key insurance goal. Chaal failed to keep hold of a cross and Lozano was there to tap into an open net.

The Algerians made it 3-2 through Bounedjah with five minutes left in normal time and only a late reflex save by Lopez at the right post prevented the encounter from ending in a draw.

Honduras returns to action Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash with Portugal.