HARRISON, N.J. — Honduras fought hard, but in the end, Colombia handed the Central Americans a bitter cup of coffee as a brace from forward Teófilo Gutiérrez gave los Cafeteros a 2-0 win at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
Andy Najar (D.C. United) made his long-awaited Honduras debut and Carlo Costly (Houston Dynamo) and Marvin Chávez (FC Dallas) both also saw time for los Catrachos.
It didn’t take long for Colombia to let Honduras know they were in for a test. Just two minutes into the match, Jackson Martínez had the first chance of the night, letting loose a weak shot to the hands of Catrachos ‘keeper and captain Noel Valladares.
Martínez, Dayro Moreno and Freddy Guarín led the Colombian charge. In the 14th minute, an interchange between Martínez and Moreno nearly ended in the back of the net had Valladares not come up big to swat the ball away.
With Honduras unable to come to life, Colombia’s Guarín, Moreno and Gutiérrez kept threatening and, in the 24th minute, found the opener when Gutiérrez, who was brought down in the box, converted a penalty kick.
Colombia’s push only increased after the goal and were close to finding their second goal of the night in the 31st minute when Martínez and Gutiérrez played a give-and-go at the edge of Honduras’ 18-yard box, but Martínez’s grazing shot struck the upright.
As Colombia began to ease up on the pedal, Honduras began pressing and, in the 36th minute, Costly just missed scoring the equalizer when he couldn’t connect with a cross.
Just a minute later, Maynor Figueroa missed los Catrachos’ best chance of the night, showing some nice skill on the dribble to get by three defenders, but his shot sailed high over the crossbar.
Honduras again came close to tying things up at the start of the second half as Mario Martínez crossed a ball into the box that Costly headed wide.
In the very next play, however, los Catrachos were reduced to 10 men after Hendry Thomas was shown his second yellow card of the match. But the ranks soon leveled out when Colombia saw forward Adrián Ramos draw a red card.
With half an hour to go, Honduras head coach Luis Fernando Suárez decided to inject some speed into the attack and brought in Chávez. Then, with 20 minutes left in the match, he gave Najar the chance to make his national team debut.
Just two minutes after Najar’s insertion, however, Gutiérrez rained on the parade by finding the net for the second time, latching onto a rebound after Valladares denied a header from Moreno.
Najar had a go on the net soon after, cracking a free kick towards the net that David Ospina saved.
The match came to a hectic end on both sides as Chávez and Hugo Rodallega twice failed to find the net for Honduras and Colombia, respectively.
COL: Teofilo Gutierrez (PK) 25’
COL: Teofilo Gutierrez (unassisted) 72’
COL: Teofilo Gutierrez (caution) 27’
HON: Hendry Thomas (caution) 43’
HON: Hendry Thomas (second caution, ejection) 51’
COL: Adrian Ramos (ejection) 54’
COL: Carlos Sanchez (caution) 60’
COL: Luis Amaranto Perea (caution) 65’
COL: Juan Cuadrado (caution) 90’+
Honduras – Noel Valladares (GK), Victor Bernardez, Jhony Leveron, Mauricio Sabillon (Allan Lalin 82’, Maynor Figueroa, Mario Martinez (Marvin Chavez 59’), Bonieck Garcia, Edder Delgado (Mariano Acevedo 83’), Hendry Thomas, Jerry Bengtson (Andy Najar 70’), Carlo Costly
Substitutes Not Used: Marlon Licona (GK), Brayan Beckeles, Rommel Murillo, Mario Chavez, Arnold Peralta, Javier Portillo, Roger Rojas
Colombia – David Ospina (GK), Luis Armando Perea, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Camilo Zuniga, Pablo Armero, Fredy Guarin, Carlos Sanchez (Gustavo Bolivar 82’), Dayro Moreno (Juan Cuadrado 74’) , Teofilo Gutierrez (Hugo Rodallega 77’), Jackson Martinez (Cristian Marrugo 61’), Adrian Ramos
Substitutes Not Used: Luis Martinez, Cristian Zapata, Falcao Garcia