Honduras put 5 unanswered goals past New Caledonia to keep Round of 16 hopes alive

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Honduras pumped in five goals without reply against tournament debutants New Caledonia to record an emphatic win in their second group game of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday.

Carlos Mejia (25′ and 42′) and Patrick Palacios (51′ and 88′) struck twice each while Joshua Canales ( 27′) scored the other goal for Jose Valladares’ squad.

Honduras, who had lost to Japan 1-6 in their campaign opener, now have three points from today’s win and they are still contention for a knockout berth. They play against France on October 14 in their final group game.

New Caledonia, on the other hand, are virtually out of the tournament, having suffered a 1-7 thrashing at the hands of France in their opening match. They play Japan on October 14 in their final group game.

Mejia opened the scoring twenty-five minutes from kickoff when he found the back of the net on his nearside from Canales’ cross. His left footed shot went straight from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner.

In the very next minute, Canales himself doubled the lead from a vicious freekick, beating the wall with the ball curving into the goal, beating an outstretched Robin Escorne.

Sidri Wadenges put a ball into the net against the run of play from a cross into the box but the linesman raised the flag on the defender.

Santiago Cabrera helped Mejia make it 3-0 inside the first half when he fed the ball to the playmaker who closed down space from close range and slotted it home. Mejia’s left footed shot from very close range went straight to the centre of the goal.

Patrick Palacios stepped up in the second half to score a brace. First, Axel Gomez’ cross was met by the striker as he headed it past the hapless ‘keeper and then in the dying minutes of the game, Cabrera triggered Palacios, whose left footed shot from very close range went straight into the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cabrera.

New Caledonia now travel to Kolkata to face Japan while Honduras will play group leaders France on Saturday in Guwahati itself.