Honduras and Mexico face off in CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals
Honduras and Mexico take on each other in the CONCACAF Golf Cup semifinals Thursday morning at the Reliant Stadium in Houston.
The Hondurans reached the last four by defeating Costa Rica 4-2 on penalties after their quarterfinal duel ended in a 1-1 tie after regulation and extra time.
Honduras head coach Luis Fernando Suárez is confident of his team's chances against Mexico and also expressed his disappointment over CONCACAF's decision to allow the Mexicans to replace five players who earlier tested positive for a banned substance.
"There are established rules and I think that to change them during the course of the tournament doesn't look good," Suárez told mlssoccer.com
"[CONCACAF's decision] to change the rules shouldn't have been done."
Striker Jerry Bengston, meanwhile, is unfazed despite the series of injuries that hit his teammates.
"We're not thinking about that," he said.
"We're just working hard and we're ready. [Mexico] are a strong team but we've got our own stuff."
Mexico, meanwhile, overcame an early goal to beat a gritty Guatemala squad 2-1 in the quarterfinals. Aldo de Nigris tied the scores in the 48th minute while tournament leading scorer Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez converted the game winner in the 66th minute.
"The Mexican people don't expect other outcomes than the victory," Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times.
"Any other result will be a bitter failure."
The Mexicans received a timely boost with the arrival of new reinforcements Héctor Reynoso, Paul Aguilar and Hiram Mier. The three players were called up by head coach José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre after the CONCACAF allowed the squad to replace five players who earlier tested positive for a banned substance.
"To represent your national team always is something to be very proud of," said Aguilar, who was part of the Mexican squad in last year's FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
"We have to try to pitch in so that the result matches our progress, which is very good."
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