When: Friday, March 22. 5PM ET.
Where: Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano. San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
TV: Telemundo. Coverage starts at 4PM.
World Cup Qualifying starts up once again in the CONCACAF region after a 44-day hiatus, and this Friday afternoon Mexico will face its first must-win match of the year as it visits Honduras in the always tough, hot, hostile and downright intimidating environment of San Pedro Sula.
Honduras is on the rise after a solid 2-1 win at home over the U.S., while Mexico took a step back with a disappointing 0-0 draw hosting Jamaica in the opener of the six-team, 10-match tournament that gives out three automatic bids to Brazil 2014, while the fourth-place team will have to play a home-and-home playoff to enter the tournament.
Theoretically, the second match of ten shouldn’t carry that much weight. After all, this is a marathon, not a sprint, right? Well, not quite.
It is all about avoiding a snowball of negativity for Jose Manuel De La Torre’s squad, since a loss against Honduras would probably make the Mexican press go into full-fledged panic. Mexico would have just one point and their next match is against none other than an archrival like the United States.
In other words, a loss would turn the chilling reality of not being a part of the World Cup for the first time since 1990 from a laughable idea into a very disturbing, worrisome possibility.
This clash between two CONCACAF powerhouses will have the feel of a championship game for both national teams, so let’s review the three keys to the match that will captivate soccer fans everywhere on Friday afternoon.