Honduras holds off Algeria for Olympic opening win
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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.