Honduras players (pictured) acknowledge their fans after a scoreless draw at Mexico in a World Cup qualifier on September 6, 2016, in Mexico City. (Photo: Straffon Images)
COMAYAGUA, Honduras – After obtaining only one point from matchdays three (0-6 away loss v USA) and four (1-1 home draw v Costa Rica) in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fifth-place Honduras (1W-1D-2L) knows there is little room for error going forward.
The Catrachos are targeting a third consecutive World Cup trip, but it won’t be easy, especially with the next two encounters being on the road against teams above them in the table: first-place Mexico (June 8) and Panama June 13.
Talking to reporters Thursday, midfielder Carlos Discua signaled that there’s a sense of urgency in the training camp.
“We are practically playing to stay in the qualifying race or fall by the wayside,” stressed the Motagua star. “We know what these two matches mean and the commitment that comes against Mexico. It’s a difficult opponent at home, but all that’s left is to work hard.
“The match against Mexico is important and can change the story for Honduras, and we must have faith and conviction that we can get a good result.”
As is customary, when there’s so much at stake, pressure enters into the equation. The way in which it is managed, however, can be a possible predictor of future success or failure.
“There is a pressure from the press and fans,” the 32-year-old Discua remarked. “We understand the moment that we are going through, but we have emerged from difficult situations and we trust in the work that is being done.”
At the end of the day, though, Honduras can only depend on itself.
“We have to unite together more than ever. We are now more than united,” finished Discua. “The two previous matches were not what we hoped for, but now it’s our turn to get the biggest number of away points.”