Honduras’ football team arrived yesterday on a chartered flight and had their first training session as they get ready for Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago.
The Honduras team, under head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, includes Barcelona B team player Anthony Lozano who told reporters before the team’s departure out of San Pedro Sula that he was expecting a tough outing.
“We are going there with the conviction that we will get the three points. We have worked hard and we believe we can give it our all in these two games to get the results,” Lozano said.
“We are hoping everything can turn out well. We have no excuses because we know each other well and we have prepared for this game,” he added.
Reports indicated that China-based forward Rony Martinez did not travel with the team as his club Baoding Yingli Yitong did not release him for travel in time for the encounter.
Pinto said he expects the contest to be a closely fought one.
“The both teams have a good chance and we know every point is crucial. We know the Trinidad and Tobago team can be dangerous and they are at home but we will be prepared to face whatever challenge comes our way. We know the importance of this game. Both teams know it,” Pinto said.
The TT team trained on Monday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva and a second session was scheduled for yesterday evening at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
European-based player Radanfah Abu Bakr was the latest overseas pro to join the camp on Monday night while Kazakhstan-based defender Sheldon Bateau is the last player to come in today.
Among the new local call-ups into the World Cup squad is defender Kevon Villaroel who scored TT’s goal in last Thursday’s friendly with Jamaica. He is eager to prove his worth in the qualifiers now.
“It’s something I have always dreamt of, being on the national team. I’ve worked hard over the years trying to catch the eye of the different national coaches and now finally I have gotten the chance. It felt great to score my first international goal in my second appearance for the national team,” Villaroel told TTFA Media.
“But that’s gone now and it’s about focusing on the preparations for Honduras. The players have all been a great bunch to work with and we’ve been meshing since preparations began, leading up to the Jamaica game. I think everyone understands the importance of a victory on Friday.
“We’ve been discussing it on and off the training field and it’s a case now of completing our preparations and going out there and finishing the job before going over to Panama,” the former Puerto Rico Islanders player added.
W Connection’s Alvin Jones, brother of Seattle Sounders left back Joevin Jones, is also another player that has come on strongly under Lawrence and will be hoping to play his part in Friday’s outing, making mention of a strong bond within the selection.
“There is a brotherly love not just between myself and Joevin but I think among everyone in the squad. It is a joy when we come together and while we may be having a laugh at times, I think the serious part of things is always there when the boys come together to prepare for a game, especially one as huge as this game on Friday,” Jones said yesterday.