Action from the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying playoff between French Guiana and host Honduras (white jersey) on March 29, 2015, in San Pedro Sula. (Photo courtesy of Diario El Heraldo)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – It wasn’t necessarily the way Honduras wanted to qualify for a seventh straight appearance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but perhaps overcoming adversity will serve it well as head coach Jorge Luis Pinto goes deeper into his tenure.
A 3-1 loss at French Guiana in the opening leg of the qualifying playoff demanded a considerable response from the Catrachos at home this past Sunday. The resulting reply was as decisive as it was swift. Honduras scored three goals in the first half on the way to a 3-0 triumph, winning the series 4-3 on aggregate.
With disappointment averted, a surge of optimism settled inside the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
“I leave satisfied because we executed,” said Pinto. “It was a match with a lot of pressure for the players. We did well and I think we could have scored five or six goals without any problem. We just lacked finishing our plays well.”
Despite the complications created by the defeat in Remire-Montjoly, Pinto was pleased with the performance at home and signaled that it was a good indicator for the future.
“I liked the football we showed in the first half and part of the second,” remarked the 62-year-old Colombian. “If we are able to maintain that rhythm for 90 minutes, I think that we will be a team with a lot of footballing weight that will please the people. The things that we did today, I had not seen in a match in a long time and that pleases me.”
Pinto readily admits, however, that the further improvement is necessary and the job is far from over.
“We have to improve in other things, like concentration and aerial play, that during the 90 minutes the players maintain consistency,” concluded Pinto.
For the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Honduras in in Group A with Haiti, Panama and the United States.