After a wait of no fewer than 32 years, Honduras have finally found the net once more at the FIFA World Cup™, Carlo Costly ending what had become something of a curse for Los Catrachos in their 2-1 defeat by Ecuador at Curitiba’s Arena da Baixada. “During the game it made my very happy and we celebrated it to the full, but it was a shame it wasn’t enough for us to get the win,” said the striker, who plays for Real Espana back in his homeland.
The hard-running attacker’s 31st-minute effort not only put La H in front versus Group E rivals La Tri, it also ended his country’s run of 511 goalless World Cup minutes, just six before they would have moved level with Bolivia’s unwanted record of 517. Prior to Costly, the last man to score for Honduras at the global showpiece was Eduardo Laing, who netted against Northern Ireland on 21 June 1982 in Spain.
“I was so happy when I scored that goal, because 32 years is a long time and a difficult barrier to overcome,” said Costly, speaking to FIFA.com after the game. “That myth, that curse which has been hanging over us for so long, has been laid to rest now but, even so, we’ve still got a slightly bitter taste in our mouths because we had a great chance of winning the game. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way, but we played well so we can hold our heads up high.
“It might well be the most important goal I’ve scored in my career, because it’s not every day you play in a World Cup and score. It might be remembered for a while, but I’m not looking for individual recognition, I’m trying to get Honduras through to the next round.”
Defeat against Ecuador was a major blow to that objective, however, with Honduras desperate for a positive result ahead of their final group match versus Switzerland.
“We needed a bit more concentration, particularly in dead-ball situations," said Costly. "We weren’t quite clinical enough either, so we’ll need to work on that too.
"Still, I thought we did well. Even when we conceded the second goal, we threw everything forward in attack and had a few chances – we were just lacking a finishing touch.
“You have to try and make as few mistakes as possible. For the free-kick [which led to Ecuador’s winner], we committed a foul we shouldn’t have done, but we need to get our heads up now. We’ve worked very hard to get here and we’re not going to give in so easily.”
Yet the task facing Honduras is certainly sizeable, Costly and Co needing to beat Switzerland by several goals and hope France down Ecuador to have a chance of reaching the Round of 16.
“Hope is the last thing you lose, as they say, but we know it’ll be a very tough match against the Swiss because we know their game well,” said the 31-year-old, who has tasted club football in no fewer than eight countries. “We’re still hopeful and we’ve got faith that everything will turn out well, that’s what we’re clinging on to.”
Costly, whose father Allan played at Spain 1982 and who was born mere days after that year’s competition finished, also found time to explain his unusual shirt number, before taking his leave. “First of all I used No13 because it got given to me, but then I got a feel for it and it’s been really good for me,” he said with a smile. “I’ve always scored goals when wearing that number and now, wherever I go, I make sure I ask for it!”