Guevara: Honduras will face Chile as equals

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras - Ninety minutes on the pitch with Chile at Nelspruit on June 16 will say more about Honduras's World Cup chances than any analysis of the virtues of Marcelo Bielsa's Chilean team, captain Amado Guevara said.

The Central American outsiders, who meet Venezuela in a farewell warm-up at the Olimpico on Wednesday, open Group H against Chile at the South Africa finals before also facing favourites Spain and Switzerland.

"We know we have weighty rivals with a lot of quality, well coached, but then there's the match and we're preparing for that," Guevara said before a practice at the Morazan stadium, home of Real Espana, in central San Pedro Sula.

"On the pitch we'll be 11 against 11 and the team that does things better will be the one that settles the match," he told reporters in pitch-side interviews.

"We'll have to keep our control and do things properly," added Guevara, who captains the team coached by Colombian Reinaldo Rueda.

Honduras, who went to the World Cup once before in Spain in 1982, have found a balance under Rueda they lacked in previous qualifying campaigns.

"This group has a combination of players with a lot of experience and also youngsters who have matured and acquired international nous which, come the time of taking responsibility and making decisions, they can do it in the best way," said Guevara.


"Chile will be a key match but so will the other six points in play," the 33-year-old Motagua defensive midfielder with more than 130 caps said.

"We have a lot of respect for them, their quality as individual players and as a team, we're going to have to prepare very well if we want to beat them and the other two.

"We are also well aware of who professor Bielsa is, a trainer with a lot of experience and quality, one of the best you could have, which really concerns us," said Guevara, who has played for clubs in Spain, Mexico, the U.S., Costa Rica and Canada.

"But we're also concerned with doing our work, getting stronger as a squad and correcting mistakes. Really, I have a lot of faith in the squad."

The crowd at the 41,000-capacity Olimpico, home of first division Marathon, is expected to show a similar faith when they send off their team in Wednesday's friendly.

Honduras have been playing their international matches in San Pedro Sula, the country's big industrial centre, for several years because the support is stronger and louder than in the capital Tegucigalpa, local sources said.

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