The negative reporting on social issues will motivate Honduras when they take on the Socceroos in tomorrow's intercontinental play-off writes Diego Paz, the editor in chief of national newspaper Diez.
What the Australian media is saying about Honduras, they have talked about delicate subjects and that hurts - and the players are going to be motivated by these issues. But Honduras has a mature focus at this point, the rivalry with Costa Rica and Mexico has made the players grow, we are accustomed to press wars in these types of games.
The reporting of the Australian media compared to Costa Rica, Mexico and the USA you talk about the difference between the players, who are the stars now and in the past, the strategies and the difference between the trophies that the teams have won in the past and it’s all about soccer.
The taunting is mostly about these subjects and not about social issues because we are similar countries. Mexico is much larger, so they do suffer from violence, same with Costa Rica and Panama, while the USA has terrorism, so you wouldn’t have these issues at stake when you have an important match.
There were some reports about mosquitoes in our food, so yesterday we had two of your colleagues Simon Hill from Fox Sports and Dominic Bossi from the Sydney Morning Herald in our press room and we challenged them to eat our food and we asked them how they were treated and everyone was happy and they are having fun in Honduras.
But the important thing will be what is shown on the field this Friday. The home team are really confident. I spoke with Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto on Sunday and asked him if he sees himself in the World Cup, and he said he was really, really sure Honduras was going to be in Russia next year. I asked him again and he confirmed it, "we are going to be in Russia %100." So that’s the motivation of the team right now.
They believe they will be at their third consecutive World Cup. Having the first leg at home makes Honduras believe they can get a result from the first leg, especially after the last three games they have played. Honduras has shown another face and raised their level of football compared to the first half of the qualifiers.
If Honduras do not win, they lose a big chance of heading to the World Cup. That is clear, especially if we concede a goal as away goals count double in play-offs like this. Honduras couldn’t win 2-1 in Australia, so the important thing for Australia is that your goalie has an awesome day and doesn’t concede goals. The worst/best result would be 0-0. If you lose you are practically saying goodbye to the World Cup.
Honduras has been playing better because of the arrival of some new players, for example the case of Eddie Hernandez who plays for F.C. Motagua in Honduras, scored a goal in the 1-1 draw with Costa Rica and gave an assist in the 3-2 win over Mexico.
Hernandez was injured but he has recovered right now. He is a big player, he fights for every ball in the air and his headers are spectacular. That is one of his best attributes so you have to watch out for Eddie Hernandez, if he is alone in the penalty area he will strike at goal.
Anthony Choco Lozano is an important player for Barcelona B so that’s a plus for the team - a man that is accustomed to big leagues. Rommel Quioto is Honduras top goal scorer in World Cup qualifying and plays for Houston Dynamo and fighting for the title in the MLS.