Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza earned his 50th career cap for the Honduras Men’s National Team on Tuesday as Los Catrachos bounced back with a 3-1 home win over Trinidad and Tobago in CONCACAF’s Hexagonal.
Espinoza started and played the full 90 minutes, helping Honduras secure a precious World Cup qualifying victory at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula. The result comes four days after Honduras dropped their Hexagonal opener at home to Panama.
Making his first international appearance since March, Espinoza provided a steady midfield presence for Honduras, completing 47 of 53 passes. The MLS veteran played three competitive matches for Honduras in 2016, collecting two wins and a draw during the nation’s bid for a third straight World Cup appearance.
Romell Quioto fired the hosts ahead in the 16th minute with a right-footed curler before Emilio Izaguirre effectively sealed the game three minutes later, slotting a deflected strike just inside the near post. Both goals came shortly after Trinidad goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams was forced off due to injury and replaced by Marvin Phillip.
Carlyle Mitchell pulled one back for the Soca Warriors with a 51st-minute header, but substitute Eddie Hernandez restored the two-goal cushion nine minutes from full time.
Honduras will continue its World Cup qualifying campaign next spring, visiting the United States on March 24 and hosting Costa Rica on March 28. Led by head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, Los Catrachos will hope to finish in the top three of the Hexagonal by October 2017 and qualify automatically for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. A fourth-place finish would send Honduras to a two-legged playoff against an Asian team in November 2017.
Honduras MNT Hexagonal Schedule & Results
|Nov. 11, 2016||vs. Panama||L 0-1|
|Nov. 15, 2016||vs. Trinidad and Tobago||W 3-1|
|March 24, 2017||at United States|
|March 28, 2017||vs. Costa Rica|
|June 7 or 8, 2017||at Mexico|
|June 11 or 12, 2017||at Panama|
|Sept. 1, 2017||at Trinidad and Tobago|
|Sept. 5, 2017||vs. United States|
|Oct. 6, 2017||at Costa Rica|
|Oct. 10, 2017||vs. Mexico|