‘Cold head and hot blood!’ urges Honduras coach

Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto says his team need to be aggressive from the start of their second leg intercontinental playoff against the Caltex Socceroos in Sydney on Wednesday.

Colombian-born Pinto, 64, said his players needed to play in an aggressive but smart manner if they are any chance of upsetting the Australians on home soil on Wednesday night.

Australia is in a good position heading in to the second leg in Sydney after a 0-0 draw with Honduras on Saturday (AEDT) at the Stadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

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But Honduras are very much in this tie, reminded Pinto.

“[The players need] a cold head but hot blood and be very aggressive throughout. I know the boys can turn it around,” he told the media on Tuesday.

The Hondurans went long on a number of occasions last Saturday as they sought to make the most of their pacy strikers on a bad pitch.

Pinto joked: “Without a doubt we’ll be employing long through balls and if the head coach of Australia is watching, he has some insights into the game,” he said with a smile.

Maynor Figueroa of Honduras
Maynor Figueroa of Honduras

Meanwhile, much has been made about the recovery and travel for this second leg, one in which Australia has spent big on a charter flight home and high tech to prepare the players for a second big game in five days across two continents.

“Without a doubt, that [recovery] can be an advantage to Australia,” Pinto conceded.

“But at the end it comes down to 11 v 11. Or 14 v 14 if needed.

“Australia’s recovery was maybe faster or better but it’s 11 v 11 which matters ... and we’ll be 100% physically.”