Honduras’ Alberth Elis (#17) has scored four goals in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo: AFP Services)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Honduras head coach Jorge Luis Pinto announced Thursday a 25-man roster for his team’s intercontinental playoff against Australia for a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Catrachos, who finished fourth in the CONCACAF Hexagonal with 13 points, will host the series opener on November 10 in San Pedro Sula and then travel to Sydney for the second leg five days later.
Houston Dynamo forwards Romell Quioto (6 goals) and Alberth Elis (4 goals) -- Honduras’ two top scorers during the current qualifying cycle, scoring more goals between them than the rest of the team combined (10-9) -- highlight the squad. At 10 goals (26 games played), Elis finished in a tie for second on the Dynamo’s 2017 regular-season scoring chart, while Quioto (22 games played) was fourth with seven tallies.
Others meriting selection are Olimpia midfielder Alexander Lopez (one goal and a team-best four assists in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League) and forward Antony Lozano (two goals in eight Spanish second division games with Barcelona B).
Pinto may still make additions to the squad. The status of forward Eddie Hernandez remains uncertain after undergoing surgery for a fractured cheek bone earlier this week.
Honduras has competed in three all-time World Cups, including the last two.
GOALKEEPERS: Ricardo Canales (Vida), Donis Escober (Olimpia)
DEFENDERS: Ever Alvarado (Olimpia), Bryan Beckeles (Necaxa/Mexico), Felix Crisanto (Motagua), Henry Figueroa (Motagua), Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas/USA), Emilio Izaguirre (Al-Fayha/Saudi Arabia), Johnny Palacios (Olimpia), Carlos Sanchez (Honduras Progreso), Allans Vargas (Real España)
MIDFIELDERS: Bryan Acosta (Tenerife, Spain), Michael Chirinos (Olimpia), Jorge Claros (Real España), Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo/USA), Alexander Lopez (Olimpia), Mario Martinez (Real España) Alfredo Mejia (Xanthi/Greece), Oliver Morazan (Juticalpa FC), Sergio Peña (Real Sociedad)
FORWARDS: Carlo Costly (Olimpia), Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo/USA), Ovidio Lanza (Juticalpa FC), Antony Lozano (Barcelona B/Spain), Romell Quioto (Houston Dynamo/USA)