Torn Pinto says Honduras can qualify

Nov 12, 2017 - 5:38 AM 'Los Catrachos' left Honduras without the crucial home win they wanted, but far from deflated ahead of Wednesday's crunch World Cup qualifier with Australia.

The 0-0 draw on Saturday (AEDT) leaves the Central Americans needing a win or a score draw at ANZ Stadium to reach the 2018 tournament.

Australia will qualify only with a victory, or a triumph on penalties after another deadlock.

But if they're to cause an upset and qualify for Russia at Australia's expense, Honduras must improve their play.

At the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, Jorge Luis Pinto's side looked disjointed and without spark.

They resorted to long balls and yielded possession to the Socceroos despite having the great advantage of playing in front of 40,000 parochial fans.

Pinto confessed to mixed feelings after the result, crediting the Australian back line for subduing his suite of dangerous attackers.

"Good things were done. There was work and intensity," he said.

"Australia knows how to defend and is organised.

"(We) got a little behind and we lacked a little, it's true.

"I am happy but not happy."

It's clear that Honduras' best chance of qualifying involved a home win.

In Sydney, the team will lose home ground advantage, and arrive almost 24 hours after Australia, and just 60 hours out from kickoff in the return leg due to an inferior travel schedule.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou can also call upon stalwarts Mark Milligan and Mat Leckie, who were suspended for the first leg, and Robbie Kruse, who had a minor knee issue.

Pinto acknowledged the disadvantages.

"He will have the two or three players that he lacked, and that will not be easy for us," he said.

"There is another game and we know that we will have to fight."

Source: AAP

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