Action from the international friendly between Honduras (white jersey) and visiting Venezuela on February 4, 2015, in San Pedro Sula. (Photo courtesy of Diario El Heraldo)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Despite suffering a 3-2 loss to visiting Venezuela in a friendly played Wednesday, Honduras took away positives from Jorge Luis Pinto’s debut as head coach.
Though the Catrachos’ winless streak was extended to five games, the 61-year-old Colombian did not hesitate to point out qualities that gave him reason for optimism.
“I liked a lot of things from the team,” said Pinto, who replaced Hernan Medford in December. “We managed the counterattack well, the dimension of the game and the standard of ball control. I’d say that that we are on the right path. I cannot be happy with losing a match, but I am satisfied.”
Nevertheless, Pinto was quick to acknowledge that there is work to do.
“We are not yet at an ideal point,” remarked the former Costa Rica manager. “The team pressured Venezuela constantly. The match was not attractive and was not the spectacle that we had wanted. It is not easy to change overnight and install another style.”
The Venezuelans took a 3-0 lead on a trio of close-range goals, before Antony Lozano and Juan Pablo Montes found the back of the net as a late Honduras rally fell just short. The overall performance, however, compelled captain and midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia to echo sentiments similar to those of Pinto.
“It is best to take away the positives,” said Garcia. “We paid dearly for the errors. I liked the aggressiveness we put forth and I feel that good, things are going to come, interesting things. We have to keep working, give our support to the coach and not get carried away with this opening match because there are still things left to show.”
Honduras will have another opportunity to demonstrate progress under Pinto’s tutelage, when it visits Venezuela on February 11 in Barinas.