Honduras forward Antony Lozano (white jersey) in World Cup Qualifying action against visiting Costa Rica on March 28, 2017, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Antony Lozano knows that Honduras will have to do the job at home against Australia in the first leg of their intercontinental playoff for a berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The sides will open their series Friday at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, where the Catrachos are unbeaten in 2017 (2W-2D-0L), including a 3-2 win over Mexico in the last match of the CONCACAF Hexagonal on October 10.
“It will be a very close match,” said Lozano, who two goals in seven qualifiers for Russia 2018. “They will play with the option of closing at home. We have to be decisive. The [chances] that we have, have to go in. We know we are at home and we should must capitalize in order to get the advantage.”
For Lozano, jet lag is no problem when it comes to representing his country and trying to help it reach a third consecutive World Cup. On Monday, he arrived from Spain – where he plays for Barcelona B -- and trained the next day.
“I’m tired from the trip, but I come with the motivation that the national team gives, hoping to achieve this marvelous dream that we all have of going to the World Cup,” the 24-year-old expressed.
With the second leg against Australia set to take place on November 15 in Sydney, Lozano says it will be crucial for Honduras to register a clean sheet in the opener.
“We know Australia is a national team that works and competes well, but we should focus more on our work,” he finished. “We have to be strong and fight to not concede any goals.”
Honduras has allowed four goals in as many games at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano this year, posting only one shutout, 2-0, in a friendly against Nicaragua on March 16.