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Afternoon heat adds another element to Honduras-USA
December 26th, 2012 9:09PM

TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014


[HEXAGONAL COUNTDOWN] The USA has beaten Honduras in Honduras in both meetings since the launch of the Hexagonal, Concacaf's six-team World Cup qualifying competition. Their meeting on Feb. 6 to open the final round of World Cup 2014 qualifying will be different. The game will kick off at 3 p.m. local time in San Pedro Sula (4 p.m ET). To get an idea about what it is like to play in the afternoon heat in San Pedro Sula, you only need to see what happened to Canada when it traveled to San Pedro Sula needing only a draw to advance to the Hexagonal.

It would be an exaggeration to blame the Canadians' 8-1 loss on the afternoon heat at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano. After all, the Catrachos were ahead 4-0 after only 33 minutes. But the heat and humidity certainly were oppressive. Despite some cloud cover, "sweat still dripped in rivers," as one Canadian observer described the conditions in the 86-degree heat.

The 45,000-seat Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, built in 1997, is one of the most intimidating stadiums in the world with barbed wire and a dry moat around the fenced-in grass field.

When the USA won, 3-2, at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in October 2009 to clinch a berth in 2010 World Cup, the game was held in the evening. It was Honduras, not the USA, that cracked under the pressure. The Catrachos  blew a 1-0 lead in the second half and had a chance to equalize after falling 3-1 down, but Carlos Pavon ballooned the penalty kick over the goal.

In 2001, Clint Mathis scored on a free kick to give the USA a 2-1 win over Honduras in another night game played before a sellout crowd in San Pedro Sula.

1 comment
  1. Doug Martin
    commented on: December 27, 2012 at 11:24 a.m.
    "Estadio Olimpico of the most intimidating stadiums in the world with barbed wire and a dry moat around the fenced-in grass field." I take it the writer has not actually been in the stadium, it is not one of the most intimidating stadiums in the world...far from it, Panama City provides a much more hostile and intimidating locale to play in for the USA or Canada. This is true for players and visiting fans, as the Panama federation takes little care in or interest in making the visiting fan feel secure or safe and the stadia security is lax to non-existent. Hopefully the USA federation will lean on CONCACAF to ensure its fans who travel are located in one zone and given proper security when they play Panama, indeed the same should be true in Honduras, CONCACAF needs to step up and get more professional when such games are played, in terms of visiting fan security. Barbed wire is common in stadia as are dry moats.

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