Categories: Sport

COUNTDOWN 20: Costly hopes to inspire Honduras on the world stage

Sunday Omeike

When a player moves from one continent to the other and continues to play regularly, it is hoped that the experience gathered will rub off on his country in big tournaments.

That is exactly what would be expected of journeyman Carlos Costly.

The much-travelled 31-year-old hit man has played in four continents: in Honduras, Mexico, Poland, England, Romania, the United States, Greece and recently, China where he supplied goals for Guizhou Xhicheng.

A very strong character, Costly recently returned to continue his playing career in his homeland, and has led his country’s charge during qualifying, scoring seven goals. It is hoped that his presence for Brazil 2014 will inspire the team to claim its first ever win at the World Cup, after previously missing South Africa 2010, Honduras, struggled due to injury.

The South Africa 2010 debacle in which Honduras failed score a single goal led to the sack of former coach Reinaldo Rueda, and a rocky period ensued. However, the appointment of Luis Fernando Suarez in March 2011 injected fresh life and stability to the national set-up. Just like every other coach, Rueda kicked out troublesome players Carlos Pavon and veteran Amado Guevara, and went in search of his own men. This the Colombian native achieved by delving into the nation’s youth set-up, coaching the Under-23 team at the London Olympics and drafting in much of the promising youngsters to rejig the national team.

The 54-year old-coach has previous World Cup experience as manager of Ecuador at the Germany 2006 World Cup, where he masterminded a 2-0 win over Poland, so he will be looking to take another scalp in this tournament with the Central Americans. Making their World Cup debut in 1982 where they posted creditable draws against European giant, Spain and Northern Ireland, Los Catrachos went into football wilderness only to return in 2010 and now they enjoy consecutive World Cup appearance for the first time.

Qualifying for the tournament was quietly undertaken, epitomised by the coach’s preference for sound and low-key preparations. Hondurans qualified with relative ease and added a landmark win at Mexico to their profile.

The team’s average age is over 30 years, and it is populated by mostly unknown players plying their trade in the Americas, notably Honduras and USA. However, they do have players based in Europe who have rubbed shoulders with the best, save Maynor Figueroa, Wilson Palacios and Emilio Izaguirre who are based in the United Kingdom.


Hard to beat and usually fit for the duration of a game, Honduras’ defensive approach sees them soak up pressure while they look to pick off opponents when they are tiring towards the end of games, also exploiting set-piece situations, which they rarely concede from. The weather in Brazil would also suit the team perfectly, as they have delivered their best performances in difficult conditions of heat and altitude.


Indiscipline, signposted by New England Revolution’s player, Jerry Bengtson’s walking out on the team for not given sufficient playing time. Also, they lack enough fire power to hurt the big teams, as playing scoreless draws might not be enough to reach the Round-of-16 at the World Cup.

Last line

Scoring goals should be the team’s major objective at the Mundial. If they can, they could spring a surprise or two.



Published by
Sunday Omeike
Tags: Amado GuevaraBrazilCarlos CostlyCarlos PavonChinaEmilio IzaguirreEnglandGreeceGuizhou XhichengHondurasJerrry BengtsonLondon OlympicsLos CatrachosLuis Fernando SuarezMaynor FigueroaMexicoNew England RevolutionNorthern IrelandPolandReinaldo RuedaRomaniaSouth Africa 2010SpainTheCableUnited KingdomUnited StatesWilson Palacios

Recent Posts

  • On the Go
  • Top Stories

Obasanjo ‘turns’ bouncer, locks out mourners at mother-in-law’s burial

There was drama at the burial of Florence Adenenenken, mother-in-law of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, as he locked out some mourners…

July 11, 2020 10:06 AM
  • Inside Nigeria
  • Lagos
  • On the Go
  • Top Stories

Lagos seals off ‘unauthorised’ COVID-19 test centre

The Lagos state government has sealed off a private medical laboratory for allegedly conducting COVID-19 tests without approval. The state…

July 11, 2020 9:48 AM
  • On the Go
  • The Nation

Reps to FG: Exempting Nigerian students from WASSCE will create confusion in education sector

The house of representatives committee on basic education and services says the federal government's decision to exempt Nigerian students from…

July 11, 2020 8:58 AM
  • On the Go
  • Top of the Day
  • Top Stories

NFIU vandalised as N510bn is traced to BDC ‘with links to Magu’

The offices of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) were vandalised on Thursday night after the presidential panel probing Ibrahim…

July 11, 2020 8:38 AM
  • Viewpoint

For Soyinka at 86, and a scoop denied

Just off Ozumba Mbadiwe Street in Victoria Island, immediately behind a cluster of residential apartments popularly known as 1004 flats,…

July 11, 2020 7:57 AM
  • On the Go
  • Top Stories

Coronavirus deaths top 700 as NCDC confirms 575 new cases

Fifteen weeks after Nigeria recorded its first COVID-19 death, the number of fatalities has now exceeded 700. The first coronavirus-related…

July 11, 2020 12:36 AM