HOUSTON -- In what is largely uncharted territory for French Guiana in its first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign, a matchup Tuesday against Honduras at BBVA Compass Stadium presents the only piece of familiarity in the competition.
The French Guiananese nearly qualified for the Gold Cup two years, but lost in heartbreaking fashion, falling in a two-leg playoff to Honduras, 4-3 on aggregate, despite winning the first leg 3-1 at home.
Striker Sloan Privat scored twice in that victory and is hoping to get the chance to do it again.
“Honduras is a team that’s in the final round of World Cup qualifying, so this isn’t just any opponent,” Privat told CONCACAF.com. “It’s a game that we have to do everything we can in order to get a result.”
In the opening match of the 2017 Gold Cup, Privat was part of a second-half rally against Canada at Red Bull Arena that nearly overhauled the three-goal deficit. The 27-year-old netted in the 70th minute to cut the deficit to 3-2, but Canada added another goal 10 minutes later to end the threat.
Nerves on the big stage got to French Guiana in the first half against Canada. With those feelings out of the way, it’s full speed ahead in Group C.
“We’re going to build on that second half performance to play well against Honduras,” finished Privat. “We felt a burst of pride about most of that second half. We showed that we’re not here for fun and we have the ways to match up with teams like Canada.”