After reaching a FIFA U-17 World Cup finals for the first time at Korea 2007, Honduras repeated the feat by earning a place at Nigeria 2009. Though beaten in each of their three encounters on Asian soil last time out, the new crop of Catracho youngsters will be determined to improve on that this year.
True to Honduran footballing tradition, the U-17s went into the regional qualifying phase in the Mexican city of Tijuana with an ambitious attacking approach, which ultimately paid dividends. Having started out with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Canada, Cuba were taken apart 6-0 ahead of a 3-0 reverse against the United States. And despite this setback, Los Catrachos qualified for Nigeria 2009 ahead of Canada on goal difference.
In contrast to their trip to Korea two years ago, those involved in the Honduran set-up now have FIFA U-17 World Cup experience to help them prepare for their African adventure in October and November. Los Catrachos' fans also have high hopes for the new generation led by striker Antony Lozano, scorer of four goals in qualifying, and gifted midfield dynamo Nestor Martinez. "We realise that we're representing Honduran football at this tournament and we're going to give everything we've got in every game because we don't want to let down the people who've put their trust in us," said defender Ever Alvarado.
Facts and figures
Christian Martinez (2007), Roger Rojas (2007), Johnny Leveron (2007)
Ever Alvarado (defender), Alexander Lopez (midfielder), Nestor Martinez (midfielder), Antony Lozano (forward)
Honduras won one, drew one and lost one of their qualifiers, scoring seven goals and conceding four.
The numbers game
10 - The number of goals Honduras conceded over three games at Korea 2007, their only previous involvement at a FIFA U-17 World Cup finals.