HOUSTON – It’s not a “must-win” game for either Honduras or French Guiana, when they square off Tuesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but it might as well be one.
The sides are coming off losses in their tournament openers Friday in Harrison, New Jersey. Honduras was edged by Costa Rica (1-0), while French Guiana fell to Canada (4-2).
Perhaps, both could have obtained more favorable results at Red Bull Arena if not for some correctable errors, a theme that has remained consistent since they arrived in Houston.
Honduras and French Guiana are no strangers to each other. They met two years ago in a Gold Cup qualifying playoff, with the Central Americans rallying to emerge victorious, 4-3 on aggregrate. French Guiana won the first leg at home, 3-1, on goals by Marvin Torvic (26’) and Sloan Privat (27’). Honduras stormed back in second leg, 3-0, thanks to an Andy Najar brace (30’, 32’) and a single strike by Antony Lozano (45’).
Here are some storylines to watch:
- Honduras is winless in five consecutive Gold Cup games and will equal its team record with a draw or less to French Guiana.
- Honduras has scored one goal or fewer in its last eight Gold Cup games and has been shutout in the last two. Who will step up for the Catrachos? Perhaps one or more from the trio of Romell Quioto, Alberth Elis and Oscar Boniek Garcia – who call BBVA Compass Stadium home as members of the Houston Dynamo – can make an impact.
- Forward Sloan Privat has scored five goals in his last three competitive games for French Guiana. Can he maintain that form against higher-level competition?
- How will French Guiana’s defense respond after conceding four goals to Canada, a team that had not found the back of the net in its previous six Gold Cup games?