Hondurans seek World Cup form after Turkey loss

30 May 2014 03:46

Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez learned the hard way that his team is not ready for the World Cup in a 2-0 loss to Turkey in a friendly Thursday.

And the hard truth is there's not a lot of time for "Los Catrachos" to improve before they open play in Brazil against France on June 15.

"It's clear to me we have a lot of work to do," Suarez said. "Some players are not in form and they need to get ready for the next matches."

Mevlut Erdinc, a striker for French club Saint-Etienne, scored one goal and set up another for Turkey, which failed to qualify for the global football showdown that begins in two weeks.

Erdinc scored in the 70th minute and made the key pass to Caner Erkin for his 83rd-minute tally, finding the net after Honduras squandered several first-half opportunities.

"I liked the first half of my team," Suarez said. "Technically we were very good. We weren't able to convert the opportunities.

"We didn't have good ball possession in the second half. That's something we can work and correct from this match as we move forward."

Honduras will also play warmup matches on Sunday at Houston against Israel and at Miami on June 7 against England.

The Central American side, seeking its first World Cup victory after qualifying for the third time, will play Ecuador and Switzerland as well as France in Group E matches in Brazil.

"Mentally, this defeat will not affect our preparation for the World Cup," said Suarez. "Physically, we have to get better.

"Some players are not at their best. The idea of these matches is to prepare the whole squad to be ready once the World Cup begins."

Turkey, which failed to qualify for the World Cup, sported a young lineup that lacked injured Arda Turan of Champions League runner-up Atletico Madrid. They will face the World Cup-bound United States on Sunday in suburban New York.

Turkey's Ishak Dogan set up the first goal when he faked past Honduran defender Brayan Beckeles and charged in from the right of goalkeeper Noel Valladares, the 37-year-old Honduran captain.

Moments later, Erdinc directed a centering pass into the back of the net.

Turkey added an insurance goal when tightly guarded Erdinc flicking the ball to unmarked Erkin, who charged into the penalty area and blasted home a left-footed shot.

Honduras, bolstered by thousands of loud supporters in the crowd of 20,723 at RFK Stadium, set the early pace but the best chance went lacking when Roger Espinoza of English club Wigan had a blast from the left wing booted away by Turkish teen defender Ozan Tufan.

Honduras received a scare in the 22nd minute when midfielder Wilson Palacios, who plays for English Premier League side Stoke City, remained crumpled on the pitch after tangling legs with a Turkish defender.

Trainers treated his right leg and Palacios rose and he stayed in the match.

Espinoza missed a left-footed shot in the 39th minute and Jerry Bengtson was offered another solid chance in the 43rd but his right-footed strike in stride down the right side missed the near post.

Source: AFP