French Guiana's Marvin Torvic (yellow jersey, #3) is shown scoring against visiting Honduras in a CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying playoff on March 25, 2015, in Remire-Montjoly. (Photo: Jody Amiet)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – It’s not often that a football team gets an opportunity to surpass its best-ever achievement just days after establishing that memory. Many times, it takes decades to do something even more special.
French Guiana is in a position make another lasting impression on Sunday, when it faces host Honduras in the second leg of their CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying playoff at the Estadio Olimpico Metopolitano.
The French Guianese won Wednesday’s series opener 3-1 at home thanks to a pair of goals from Sloan Privat and one by team captain Marvin Torvic. A win, a draw or even a loss – depending on the final score – will see them through to the Confederation’s showpiece event for the first time.
“This win does not change anything,” Torvic told CONCACAF.com. “We are still the underdog in this game and we still give them the respect that they deserve. It just also shows them that we should not be underestimated and be taken lightly.”
While Honduras head coach Jorge Luis Pinto pointed to defensive errors as the main reason for his side’s defeat, Torvic was quick to credit other factors in determining the final result.
“The keys to the victory were respecting the strategy that the coach (Jair Karama) had put together to the best our abilities and the motivation of playing in front of our home crowd against a team of that level,” remarked the 27-year-old center back.
French Guiana advanced to the playoff after finishing fifth in the 2014 Caribbean Cup, nipping Martinique on goal difference as the best third-place team from the two final-round groups. Defeating a 2014 FIFA World Cup participant was momentous, but Torvic is taking a wider view of what the potential for more success would mean to football in French Guiana.
“Advancing to the Gold Cup would mean more opportunities for the French Guiana players on a football level and also opportunities for the coming generations after us because it is all about progress,” he finished. “It would also get us better friendly games against bigger teams, who are more well known.
“The Gold Cup means everything to us…not only the players, but the people in French Guiana. This would be making history.”
For the French overseas region, that would be for the second time in less than a week.