Chance for New Caledonia, Honduras to earn points

Guwahati: Minnows New Caledonia and Honduras will have the best chance to register their maiden win in the FIFA U-17 World Cup when the two teams take on each other in a Group E match, here on Wednesday.

Both were hammered in their opening encounters – New Caledonia suffered an embarrassing 1-7 drubbing at the hands of France, while Honduras were thrashed 1-6 by Asian giants Japan at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium.

They, however, remained optimistic about a much-improved showing in the next game.

Honduras will still fancy their chances a bit more as they are the more experienced of the two sides. The central American nation has managed to regularly qualify for the tournament since 2007.

They bowed out of the first two editions but managed to reach the quarter-finals in 2013.

In the qualification race, Honduras finished second behind a dominant Costa Rica in the central American zone qualifiers to reach the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

At the finals, they were defeated by hosts Panama, but recovered by beating Curacao and Haiti to reach the classification round.

A hugely impressive 7-1 victory over Cuba confirmed their qualification in the tournament, despite a 0-3 defeat to USA.

New Caledonia may have been hammered in the first match by their colonial masters, but they have already created history by just playing in the tournament.

Not only did they manage to save a penalty, New Caledonia also scored their first World Cup goal, through defender Sidri Wadenges.

“It was a disappointing result but the result was expected, the level of the French team compared to the New Caledonian team is very high,” coach Dominique Wacalie had said.

Wacalie said that from here on they will be working harder and try to plug the gaps in quality. (PTI)

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