Fancied Honduras made light work of Puerto Rico, winning 4-0 at
home in their first qualifier for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South
Africa™ on Wednesday.
With the surface slick from heavy rain in San Pedro Sula, Honduras made Puerto Rico chase the game virtually from the outset. Taking possession of the ball from the opening whistle, it took the home side just 25 minutes for their slick passing game to produce a goal. Julio Cesar de Leon of Italian Serie A side Genoa looked up and fired a rocket past Puerto Rican goalkeeper Terence Boss from distance.
There were no more goals in the first half, and Puerto Rico must
have been fancying their chances of possibly pulling level, or
escaping with only a slim loss for the return leg in San Juan.
However, two goals in two minutes shortly after the interval put an
end to any hope the visitors may have had of pulling off an upset.
First, Wilson Palacios doubled his side's lead (51') and then David Suazo, known as the 'Black Panther' and adored by fans at Inter Milan, then put the game beyond doubt with a goal of the highest quality, slaloming past two defenders before rounding the goalkeeper and coolly slotting home (52'). Suazo then put an exclamation mark on his night by making it 4-0 in the 90th minute.
The Puerto Ricans will be hoping for a miracle in the return leg, which will be played in the capital of San Juan on 14 June.
The lion's share of the remaining first legs of the CONCACAF second round of qualifying for South Africa 2010 will take place next weekend, with four games on Saturday 14 June and seven games the next day. The final first-leg game will take place on 17 June when Antigua and Barbuda host Cuba, with the all-important return legs played between 18 and 22 June.