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  • 26 July 2012
  • • 12:00
  • • Hampden Park, Glasgow
  • Referee: P. Kralovec
  • • Attendance: 23421

Honduras - Morocco Preview: Nations meet for the first time at Hampden Park

Honduras - Morocco Preview: Nations meet for the first time at Hampden Park


Scotland's national stadium plays host to the African side and central Americans, with both teams wanting to get off to a good start ahead of meetings with Spain



Crisanto, Leveron, Colon, Figueroa
Najar, Peralta, Lopez, Lozano
Bengtson, Hernandez

Noussir, Bergdich, El Kaoutari, Jebbour
Kharja, El Kaddouri, Fetthoui
Labyad, El Hassanauoi, Amrabat

Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez has plenty of promising attacking options with Valencia youngster Anthony Lozano and Eddie Hernandez, who is a prolific forward in the Honduran league.

The 19-year-old Lozano could play out wide, as Jerry Bengtson, recently signed by MLS outfit New England Revolution after impressing for Motagua, is another option to lead the line.

Premier League fans will recognise that Maynor Figueroa, who will likely play left-back, is one of the three overage players in the squad, alongside Bengtson and midfielder Roger Espinoza.

Pim Verbeek, Morocco's boss, has claimed that he is yet to decide his line-up but he has some exciting options at his disposal, including Dutch-born former PSV youngster Zakaria Labyad who has opted to represent his parent's homeland.

The tricky winger moved to Sporting Lisbon in January and may be looking to impress in the tournament after being tipped as a star for the future.

He may feature up front with Nordin Amrabat, also a former PSV player, who played for Netherlands at Under-21 level before picking up three senior caps for Morocco.

Ligue 1 champions Montpellier will also be represented by Abdelhamid El Kaoutari in defence, while former Inter midfielder Houssine Kharja is likely to feature as one of two over-23 players, the other being Amrabat.

  • Honduras are playing in their third Olympic Games after previously qualifying for the 2000 Games in Sydney and the 2008 tournament in Beijing.
  • Eddie Hernandez (pictured right) was the Honduran hero in qualifying, notching three goals in six appearances.
  • Maynor Figueroa (85 caps) is the third-highest capped player at senior level featuring at the Games behind Mexico's Carlos Salcido (103) and UAE forward Ismail Matar (101).
  • This is the seventh Olympic tournament that Morocco have entered into, their best showing came at the 1972 Munich Games when they progressed to the second round.
  • Pim Verbeek's squad is one of only three in the tournament to not use the full quota of three over-23 players. The others are Japan and Gabon.
  • Only Senegal (one) have less domestic-based players in their squad than Morocco, who have Abdelatif Noussir and Mohamed Abarhoun from their home league.

Players to watch

A. Lozano

Position: Attacker

Games: 4

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  • 0
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The 19-year-old exploded into the Honduran league when he was just 15, opening his professional account with a league hat-trick. He has already made his debut for the senior side and spent time on trial at Tottenham in 2010 before eventually moving to Valencia, where he currently plays for the B team.

Z. Labyad

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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  • 0
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The Sporting Lisbon youngster has bags of ability and is likely to operate from the right side of midfield or as part of a three-pronged attack. He left PSV on a free this summer to move to Portugal after an impressive campaign and will be tasked with creating chances for his team-mates, but is also capable of popping up to score.

Editor's Prediction

There is potential in the Honduran ranks and they may benefit from having a better understanding with each other due to mostly playing in the same league. However, the Moroccan side has a number of better-established stars and, with the majority of them plying their trade in Europe, are likely to have too much technical proficiency for their central American opponents.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Honduras U23

Morocco U23


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Honduras U23 HON
Honduras U23 Honduras U23
Morocco Under 23 MOR
Morocco Under 23 Morocco U23

Top 3 Predictions

Honduras U23 HON
1 - 2
Morocco Under 23 MOR
Honduras U23 HON
2 - 0
Morocco Under 23 MOR
Honduras U23 HON
0 - 2
Morocco Under 23 MOR