Syria and Honduras have reached the point of no return at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007. Their Group C showdown at the FIFA World Cup™ Stadium in Jeju on Saturday will decide their fate, and for both sides only a win will do.
One of the revelations of the tournament to date, Syria take on Honduras hoping for the win that will virtually assure them of a place in the next round. Wednesday's last-minute defeat to Spain does not appear to have dented the confidence of Mohamad Aljomaa's boys, although they will need to recapture the form they showed against Argentina if they are to make off with the three points.
The reason for that is quite simple. Despite slipping to a morale-sapping defeat against the South Americans, Honduras are refusing to give up hope of sneaking into the last 16 themselves, and a handsome victory over the Syrians just might be enough.
Honduran defender Gustavo Carias picked up his second caution against Argentina and will miss Saturday's crunch clash. The Syrians have no suspension or injury worries, however, and will be at full strength.
The two have never played each other before in an official competition or in a friendly, either in men's or women's football. This will be the second time, however, that two debutants from Asia and CONCACAF have met at a FIFA U-17 World Cup finals, Bahrain defeating Cuba 3-0 at Scotland 1989.
"It's going to be very hard for us to get through. We'll be giving it our best shot for the people back in Honduras and because we worked so hard to get here. If we do manage to pull off a miracle, then all the better. But even if we don't, at least we'll have the satisfaction of knowing we did our best." Johnny Leveron, Honduras defender.
"We've got a healthy respect for all our opponents, but we don't think Honduras are quite as good as Argentina and Spain. The defeat to Spain really hurt, but the team are in good spirits and are determined to hit top form again. Make no mistake; we want to win this game and qualify for the next round." Tamer Haj Mohmad, Syria forward.