Honduras vs. French Guiana
CONCACAF Gold Cup, Group A, Round 2
BBVA Compass Stadium - Houston
Tuesday, July 11 - 10 p.m. ET
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If Honduras are going to climb back into knockout-round contention in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, this would seem an ideal time to do it.
Los Catrachos, coming off a 1-0 loss to Group A favorites Costa Rica in their opener on Friday, get a quick chance at redemption when they take on underdogs French Guiana on Tuesday. The Gold Cup newcomers, who are members of CONCACAF but not full FIFA members, fell 4-2 to Canada in their first-ever match in the regional tournament.
With two teams already on three points each in the group (and meeting each other on Tuesday as well), Honduras need to pick up three in their own match to stay in the hunt for a top-two finish and automatic qualification to the quarterfinals – or advancement as one of the top two third-place teams in the 12-team tournament.
It can't hurt that Tuesday's game will be played at BBVA Compass Stadium, where midfielder Boniek Garcia and forwards Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto ply their trade in MLS with a Houston Dynamo side that still haven't lost at home in league play this season.
French Guiana? Barring what would have to be considered a huge upset, the South American side would have to fall into the "happy to be here and gain experience" category.
Honduras did everything but score against Costa Rica. This time out, they'll be hoping that Elis and Quioto show off some of their net-finding Dynamo magic, after missing several chances each in the tournament opener.
Quioto has five goals and Elis has four in international play; if there were ever a time to add to their tally, this would be it. And with Garcia pulling the strings to spring them, Honduran fans of the Dynamo could be in for a treat come Tuesday.
French Guiana do have some scoring potential of their own, as Canada discovered in the other first-round Group A match, so Los Catrachos can't afford to concede any opportunities against the run of play.
HONDURAS GOLD CUP 23-PLAYER SQUAD
Goalkeepers (3): Ricardo Canales (CDS Vida), Donis Escober (Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real España)
Defenders (8): Ever Alvarado (Olimpia), Brayan Beckeles (Necaxa / MEX), Felix Crisanto (Motagua), Henry Figueroa (Motagua), Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas / USA), Marcelo Pereira (Motagua), Carlos Sanchez (Honduras Progreso), Allans Vargas (Real España)
Midfielders (8): Bryan Acosta (Real España), Jorge Claros (Real España), Carlos Discua (Motagua), Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo / USA), Ovidio Lanza (Juticalpa FC), Alex Lopez (Olimpia), Alfredo Mejia (Xanthi FC / GRE), Sergio Peña (Real Sociedad)
Manager: Jorge Luis Pinto (Colombia)
Les Yana Dokos have met Honduras twice before – and gave Los Catrachos a scare in that two-legged series before losing 4-3 on aggregate in a qualifying playoff for the 2015 Gold Cup.
Also, French Guiana boast a handful of players who have experience in France's Ligue 1 – including Guingamp forward Sloan Privat, whose seven international goals include one against Canada on Friday.
Manager Jair Karam has said that his team aim to reach the Gold Cup quarters. If that thin hope isn't to wink out on Tuesday – especially with Costa Rica looming in the group-stage finale – Privat and his teammates will have to pull off something truly special.
FRENCH GUIANA 23-PLAYER SQUAD
Goalkeepers (3): Donovan Leon (Stade Brestois 29 / FRA), Simon Lugier (US Saint-Malo / FRA), Jean-Banuel Petit-Homme (US Matoury)
Defenders (7): Inrick Baal (CSC de Cayenne), Jean-David Legrand (Stade Bordelais / FRA), Gregory Lescot (FC Chartres / FRA), Kevin Rimane (Paris Saint-Germain / FRA), Hugues Rosime (US Matoury), Anthony Soubervie (FC Chambly / FRA), Marvin Torvic (US Matoury)
Midfielders (6): Loic Baal (ASM Belfort / FRA), Ludovic Baal (Stade Rennais / FRA), Marc Edwige (CSC de Cayenne), Cedric Fabien (Tarbes Pyrenees Football / FRA), Miguel Haabo (AS Etoile Matoury), Florent Malouda (Delhi Dynamos / IND)
Forwards (7): Arnold Abelinto (JA Drancy / FRA), Roy Contout (Renaissance de Berkane / MAR), Schaquille Dutard (Guingamp / FRA), Rhudy Evens (US Matoury), Jules Haabo (AS Etoile Matoury), Sloan Privat (Guingamp / FRA), Mickael Solvi (US Matoury)
Manager: Jair Karam (French Guiana)