Olympics: Honduras advance to quarters, will face Brazil

Mario Martinez, Honduras vs. Japan

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The good news for Honduran MLSers Andy Najar, Jerry Bengtson, Roger Espinoza and new Sounders midfielder Mario Martínez is that their 0-0 draw with Japan in Coventry on Wednesday secured their place in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament.

The bad news is they will next face Brazil.

Coming off their stunning upset of Spain a few days ago, Honduras turned in another strong defensive performance to finish second in Group D behind the Japanese.

Najar and Bengtson both started their third match in a row, while Espinoza sat out due to yellow-card accumulation.

Bengtson had perhaps the best chance of the day for either team, chesting down a tricky chip from Johnny Leverón in the 39th minute and lashing a shot that forced a block from goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. Midfielder Mario Martínez, acquired on loan on Wednesday by the Seattle Sounders, nearly got to the rebound, but Gonda was able to smother the loose ball first. 

Najar picked up a yellow card in the 51st minute before being subbed out in the 59th minute.

Honduras, who had never before advanced to the quarterfinals of a major international tournament, will take on Brazil at St. James’ Park in Newcastle on Saturday.

The Brazilians beat former D.C. United stalwart Ryan Nelsen and New Zealand, 3-0, to finish top of Group C.