Honduras, who beat hosts UAE in their opener, kept up the form in their second match with a 2-2 draw against Slovakia. The result, which came by way of a late stoppage-time equaliser at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, sees the Central Americans still undefeated and on four points from two matches in Group A of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Slovakia were the sharper side in the first quarter-hour, but the Hondurans were dangerous in bursts. On the 15-minute mark, Rembrandt Flores was given too much time and space at the edge of the penalty area, but he could only manage to pump his shot up and over the bar. Just a few minutes later, up at the other end, the Slovaks had a decent chance when Nikolas Spalek’s speculative effort from a tight angle was tipped over the bar by Cristian Hernandez.
The Hondurans took the lead after 20 minutes. Brayan Velasquez provided some good approach work on the right side before passing in for Alberth Elis, whose shot was pushed away by Martin Junas. But it only went as far as Flores, who tapped the ball home from close-range. The Central Americans had another chance on the half-hour mark, Velasquez cutting in dangerously and firing an effort that was kept out by a combination of Tunas’ glove and the upright.
The second-half offered a frenzy of attacking action. In the 48th minute, Nikolas Spalek raced forward and delivered a pass for Tomas Vestenicky, who drew level for the Slovaks with a perfect curling shot. Ten minutes later, he was on the scoresheet again. Vestenicky collected a long ball from the back, turned quickly and powered a shot home from just inside the penalty area. He nearly completed his hat-trick ten minutes after that, too, only to be denied by Hernandez in the Honduran goal.
Honduras, however, were not dead and buried. They conjured a late leveler two minutes into stoppage time when Jorge Bodden popped up in the area, taking advantage of some defensive chaos, to slam home a crucial goal for the Central Americans. Los Catrachos continue their Group A campaign on 23 October against Brazil, while Slovakia meet hosts UAE that same day.