Head coach Jorge Luis Pinto (pictured) liked what he saw in Honduras' win over host Venezuela in an international friendly on September 4, 2015. (Photo: Mexsport)
QUITO, Ecuador – Honduras will continue its South American road trip on Tuesday, when it squares off against host Ecuador at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa.
The Catrachos are coming off a 3-0 win against Venezuela, ending a six-match winless skid.
While pleased his team’s performance in victory, head coach Jorge Luis Pinto wants to see even more progress against an Ecuadorian side that has already faced CONCACAF opposition four times this year (March 28: 1-0 loss v Mexico; June 3: 1-1 draw v Panama; June 6: 4-0 win v Panama; June 19: 2-1 win v Mexico)
“I know them (Ecuador) well,” said Pinto. “I saw them in the Copa America. They have very important players. [Miller] Bolaños is in good form, so is [Juan Carlos] Paredes undoubtedly and also [Enner] Valencia. I saw them against Mexico (on March 28) in Los Angeles and they played a superb match.”
Even though Honduras was unable to advance past the group stage of July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, Pinto identified strengths from the three games it played. He saw those positives manifest themselves in the Venezuela encounter.
“We are building structure, something we showed in Venezuela and, for better or worse, looked to do in the Gold Cup,” the Colombian remarked. “The results weren’t there, but we did important things.”
For Pinto, a blend of experience and youth has moved Honduras forward in planning for 2018 World Cup qualification.
“There is a new base with three or four players from the World Cup that give us maturity and, equally, we are trying out young players,” he finished. “But we are building a team that will perform for us in qualifiers that will take us to World Cup Russia 2018.”