Vuelto, Honduras ready for next CU20 test

Honduras' Darixon Vuelto (pictured) has scored one goal thus far in the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. (Photo; Straffon Images)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- As it heads into the decisive phase of the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, Honduras knows it can match any team in the competition.

The Catrachos defeated Canada (1-0) and Antigua & Barbuda (4-1) in their first two games, before being a missed penalty away from taking a point off Mexico, a team that has not lost in this tournament since 2009.

Each of those Group A experiences has provided a taste of what’s to come and the Honduran players want more.

“It surprised me a lot. They are the things that happen in matches. Missed penalties are the things that can happen,” said Honduras forward Darixon Vuelto. “One can miss, one can score. Now we have to raise our heads because the most important part is coming.”

Although Honduras has avoided playing both the United States and Mexico in the classification stage, it realizes that every match is a test, regardless of the opposition

“We have shown that the 20 players we have here can be competitive in any moment,” Honduras head coach Carlos Tabora expressed. “Against Mexico, we showed the importance of keeping to our tactical plan.”

Despite the quality of that performance, Honduras did finish the group stage on a losing note. Now it’s up to the squad members to pick themselves up in anticipation of playing Monday a Panamanian side that they tied 1-1 in Central American last year.

“We searched for what we wanted, which was to reach the next round and thank God it came
through for us,” finished Vuelto. “I think the results were positive. Now it’s time to lift up our heads for what comes next.”