Honduras' Oscar Boniek Garcia (white jersey) tries to hold off a Trinidad & Tobago defender during World Cup qualifier on November 15, 2016, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. (Photo: CA-Images)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Honduras bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Panama that opened the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 3-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday.
The prospect of possibly losing two straight matches at home made for some anxious nerves, but the Catrachos turned in a performance that gave reason for renewed optimism.
Midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia assisted on two goals and lauded his team’s efforts at the Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano.
“A hugely important match was won and the fans were left very satisfied with the play and, later on, the win,” said Garcia. “I think that it wasn’t just me, the whole team did a great job in the match. The 11 of us that were on the field and the ones that came on did well.”
Romell Quioto and Emilio Izaguirre netted before 20 minutes had passed, while Eddie Hernandez’s 81st-minute goal restored Honduras’ two-goal lead after Carlyle Mitchell made it 2-1 shortly after the break.
Garcia was quick to acknowledge adjustments made by head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, which helped to generate a more cohesive attack. Honduras scored more than two goals for the first time after six games in current qualifying cycle.
“I think the coach had been managing a system of play,” Garcia remarked. “With respect to the match we had against Panama, adequate changes were made and for that reason the result was achieved.”
Honduras resumes its World Cup Qualifying schedule on March 24 at the United States, which sits last in the standings. Garcia, however, knows that one win is just a single step on the long road to Russia 2018.
“That is the line to follow, with the feet firmly on the ground,” the Houston Dynamo standout finished. “There is a long way to go and you have to take each other by the hand to continue together.”