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Mexico aims to reverse Honduran trend
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SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras - With Mexico's fourth qualifying trip to Honduras since 2008 set for Friday, El Tri will be hoping to change recent history, while the host hopes to take another giant step towards the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

After a surprise 0-0 result against visiting Jamaica to open its Hexagonal campaign last month, previously high-flying Mexico is looking to get back to the record-setting form it enjoyed in 2012. That won't be easy for El Tri, though, since next up on the qualifying schedule is the complicated visit to San Pedro Sula on Friday afternoon.

Jose Manuel de la Torre brings his Mexican team to Central America tied for second place in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings, two points behind host Honduras, which has a 2-1 win over the U.S. under its belt.

De la Torre insists that Mexico's disappointing result in the Azteca doesn't add to the pressure for his team coming into a difficult road environment.

"It was just the first game and though nobody was pleased with the result, that doesn't mean we're under pressure," De la Torre said. "It doesn't make this a game of life or death."

Regardless of whether the Mexican team feels increased pressure or not on in its visit to the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, history suggests the challenge that De la Torre's team will face will be immense.

Honduras has four wins and one loss in five all-time World Cup qualifiers played in San Pedro Sula against Mexico (the defeat came in 1965). The Catrachos have since won four straight in the northern city against El Tri, with a combined nine goals for and just three against, including a 3-1 win in 2009 - the last time these two squads met in a qualifier in Honduras.

Mexican winger Andres Guardado chalks his nation's struggles up to the Hondurans' focus on beating Mexico whenever the two meet.

"It's always a big rivalry with Honduras," the Valencia player said. "Obviously in Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador, they always see it as special facing Mexico."

The match between Honduras and Mexico kicks off at 3 PM local time in San Pedro Sula, in front of what's sure to be another packed house at the Estadio Olimpico.

 
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