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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Honduras lord over New Caledonia in battle of lightweights

Honduras routed New Caledonia 5-0 in the match between the two weaker teams in Group E of the FIFA U-17 World Cup

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 11, 2017 23:41 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA under-17 World Cup,Honduras vs New Caledonia
Carlos Mejia (2nd left) of Honduras celebrates with teammates after scoring against New Caledonia during their FIFA U-17 World Cup in Guwahati on Wednesday. (PTI)

Honduras brought their FIFA U-17 World Cup experience into play to blank competition debutants New Caledonia 5-0 in their Group E encounter at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Wednesday.

This was Honduras’ biggest win in the U-17 World Cup since their debut in 2007.

The two teams seemed evenly matched in the opening minutes before Honduras took control midway through the first half with two goals in as many minutes.

Striker Carlos Mejia struck in the 25th minute when he guided a Joshua Canales assist past New Caledonia goalkeeper Robin Escorne. Canales struck home for Los Catrachos from a free-kick two minutes later.

Mejia, whose hunger for goals helped him move to the top of the Golden Boot standings in the CONCACAF U-17 played in Panama this year, struck again in the 42nd minute by converting a Santiago Cabrera cross.

Honduras led 3-0 at half-time.

Midfielder Patrick Palacios extended the Les Caguos’ misery by striking twice in the second half, six minutes after the breather and in the 88th minute.

The brace took Palacios’ tournament goal tally to three. His 36th minute goal was the saving grace in New Caledonia’s 1-6 defeat to Japan in the tournament opener.

“A victory would be a morale-booster for our boys who did not have a good first day,” Honduras coach Jose Valladares had said ahead of the match.

Honduras, who crashed out of the quarterfinals in the 2013 edition, hope to take the positives from Wednesday’s match to their encounter with Group E toppers France on Saturday.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 23:38 IST