Honduras hopeful of footballing upset over Socceroos

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    Their journey was longer but the Honduras team didn’t appear unduly weary when they arrived in Sydney for Wednesday’s do-or-die World Cup playoff second leg clash with the Socceroos.

    The Hondurans arrived via commercial flights on Monday morning, more than 18 hours after the Socceroos’ specially-equipped charter flight touched down following a hasty post-match departure from San Pedro Sula.

    Coach Jorge Luis Pinto made up for the long flight with two training sessions on Monday.

    The team had a stretch and walk in a park close to their team hotel before a formal session on ANZ Stadium on Monday evening.

    It’s the only time Honduras will set foot on the ground before the match but there was a relaxed mood among the players of ‘Los Catrachos’, who joked and trained without shinpads.

    Coach Jorge Luis Pinto told Honduran media he felt the side’s underdog status could be an advantage.

    “If we had the pressure in San Pedro, they have it here … which is very convenient for us,” he said.

    At the airport, the players emerged in team gear and stopped and posed for photographs with around 25 of their cheering fans gathered at Sydney airport.

    Pinto was also a popular target of the snap-happy fans, who brought colour and noise to the busy airport.

    The Hondurans are unlikely to have much support on Wednesday night, despite the fact they remain in with a chance after a 0-0 draw in their home leg last weekend.

    “It’s not a huge community,” one supporter called Carlos said of the number of Hondurans living in Sydney.

    However, based on the Sydney Games he did expect some fans to travel.

    “A few usually do (travel). For the 2000 Sydney Olympics I was surprised that there was a good size of visitors,” said Carlos, who was present when Honduras beat Australia 2-1 in that tournament.

    Australia are favoured to progress to Russia, but Carlos expected Honduras to be competitive and wouldn’t be too upset if the Socceroos advanced.

    “I hope Honduras will win, and I’m pretty sure they are going to have a good game,” he said.

    “For the time I’ve been here, 30 years, I’m a good supporter of Honduras, but also I support Australia, half and half.

    “So I hope the best team will win, either one I’d be happy.”

    © AAP 2017