Honduras and French Guiana played to a scoreless draw in a CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A match Tuesday night at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium. But Honduras appear likely to be awarded the three points for a win due to a forfeit.
A decision on disciplinary action against French Guiana for using an ineligible player is expected "in due time," according to a statement from CONCACAF released after the match. The Gold Cup debutants elected to play captain Florent Malouda despite CONCACAF's ruling that Malouda, previously capped with France's national team, was not eligible.
Malouda started the match, so French Guiana faced a 3-0 forfeit despite the actual outcome on the pitch, according to FOX Sports. If a forfeit is declared, Honduras would trail Canada and Costa Rica by a point, four to three, in the group standings, while French Guiana would remain without a single point from two losses.
Both teams could not capitalize on several chances throughout the match.
After the game CONCACAF released the following statement:
"In regards to the election of the French Guiana National Team to field player Florent Malouda in this evening's Gold Cup match against the Honduras National Team, and in line with the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 Regulations which are governed by FIFA Regulations pertaining to player eligibility, the matter has been referred to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee will review the case and render its decision in due time."
- THE MALOUDA ISSUE: No one seemed to know before the game why Malouda decided to play, even though CONCACAF said he is ineligible because he is cap-tied to France. Yes, that Florent Malouda, the one from Chelsea and other top European sides, who has been capped 80 times by Les Bleus. Malouda played, even had a few scoring chances, and now his team face a forfeit that would drop them from one point in Group A to zero.
- GOALKEEPING SHINES: Luis Lopez of Honduras and Donovan Leon of French Guiana were the true stars of this one, Lopez stopping six shots and Leon seven in clean sheets. (Leon allowed four goals in the tournament opener against Canada.) Honduras took 20 shots and could not put one in the net, so even though they are likely to get three points from a forfeit, Los Catrachos could have picked up three with a single goal that was not to be had.
- DYNAMO POWER: Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto and Boniek Garcia didn't score, but they did get to play on their home pitch as members of the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Each player got at least one shot, four for Elis.
Honduras (4-4-2 left to right): #1 Luis Lopez – #5 Ever Alvarado, #3 Maynor Figueroa, #4 Henry Figueroa, #21 Brayan Beckeles – #16 Ovidio Lanza (#14 Boniek Garcia, 46'), #6 Bryan Acosta (#13 Sergio Pena, 66'), #8 Alfredo Mejia, #10 Alex Lopez (#7 Carlos Discua, 57') – #12 Romell Quioto, #17 Alberth Elis.
French Guiana (4-4-2, left to right): #22 Donovan Leon – #7 Anthony Soubervie (#11 Roy Contout, 82'), #8 Jean-David Legrand, #14 Gregory Lescot, #5 Cedric Fabien – #10 Loic Ball, #6 Kevin Rimane, #21 Ludovic Baal, #15 Florent Malouda – #9 Arnold Abelenti (#4 Rhudy Evens, 58'), #18 Sloan Privat (#21 Shaquille Dutard, 89').
- HON: Friday, Jul. 14 – vs. Canada (10 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, TSN GO)
- GYF: Friday, Jul. 14 – vs. Costa Rica (7:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, TSN GO)