HOUSTON – The road to Brazil continues to be rocky for Honduras as a shambolic defensive effort led to a 4-2 loss at the hands of Israel on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Honduras’ defense struggled throughout the night and Israel took full advantage, with Eran Zahavi first making them pay in the 20th minute. Facing some lax defending from Osman Chavez, Zahavi exploited a huge cushion to tee up a 30-yarder past the outstretched hands of Honduras goalkeeper Donis Escober to take a 34th minute 1-0 lead.
Seeking a spark, Honduras made four changes at the half and Roger Espinoza immediately got them on the board with a golazo in the 47th minute. The former Sporting KC and current Wigan Athletic workhorse stung both posts with a left-footed golazo to wake the Catrachos in the second half.
The good work was undone in the 52nd minute when Tal Ben Haim had an effort on goal that Escober appeared to have a bead on, only for second half sub Maynor Figueroa to redirect the shot across the line to make it 2-1.
Israel furthered Honduras’ misery in the 60th minute and Zahavi was again in the thick of it. The active midfielder found space in the middle of Honduras’ defense again and clanged a shot off the post. Omer Damari was on hand to clean it up and give Israel a 3-1 lead.
Things did not get better late for Honduras as Figueroa relinquished too much space to Gil Vermouth in the 74th minute and the Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder stung the far post to add the final dagger on a rough night.
Second half substitute Carlo Costly cut the deficit to two goals late on, heading home an Espinoza cross in the 83rd minute, but the damage was done as the Catrachos were unable to pick up any momentum on their pre-World Cup tour.