Honduras upbeat ahead of Mexico showdown
Defender Carlos Sanchez (red jersey) has appeared in two games thus far in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: AFP)
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GLENDALE, Arizona -- Honduras head coach Jorge Luis Pinto isn’t bothered that his team is considered to be an underdog heading into Thursday night's CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal showdown against Mexico.

He has confidence that the Catrachos will prevail against the defending champion at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

"They're the favorites.  They're the big stars of the show," Pinto said about Mexico at a press conference Wednesday.  "We have the manner and the will to win."

 Defender Carlos Sanchez believes that he and his teammates must be at the top of their game, especially since they are winless in their last five games against Mexico (0W-2D-3L).  In their last meeting, the Mexicans recorded a 3-0 home victory in World Cup qualifying on June 8.

"We have been working hard," Sanchez stressed.  “We have to rival their players as best as possible, to be concentrated.  We need to do a better job and try to get the win."

 Honduras, which finished third in Group B with four points (including three from a forfeit against French Guiana), has the advantage of two days more of rest than the Mexicans following the group stage’s completion.

"It could be," Pinto remarked, noting that Mexico probably will rotate players to combat fatigue.  "Our strength is our rhythm and our competitive nature.  We have a team that runs.  Hopefully, we will be able to do that against Mexico."

 Pinto was heartened by the play of forwards Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto and Ovidio Lanza, though they have yet to score.                                                                                                                

"Our three guys are very solid up front,” finished the 64-year-old Colombian.  “Elis, Quioto and Lanza have been a beautiful surprise for us.  They're game changers and things are favorable for them."