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  • 1 August 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • City of Coventry Stadium, Coventry
  • Referee: S. Jedidi
  • • Attendance: 25862

Japan - Honduras Preview: South Americans hoping to book quarter-final place

Japan - Honduras Preview: South Americans hoping to book quarter-final place

getty images

The Hondurans blew the group wide open after a shock 1-0 victory over Spain and face a side who have already sealed their place in the last eight of the Olympics


Japan Under 23
Tokunaga, Hiroki Sakai, Yoshida, Suzuki
Ogihara, Higashi, Yamaguchi
Otsu, Nagai, Kiyotake

Leveron, Velasquez, Lopez, Figueroa

Peralta, Martinez
Mejia, Espinoza, Najar

Japan appear likely to name the same side which beat Morocco 1-0 last time out as they look to top their group with a 100 per cent record.

Striker Kensuke Nagai will likely keep his place after his late goal sealed the win for the Blue Samurai on Sunday.

However, following their incredible 1-0 win over tournament favourites Spain, Honduras have proved they will be tough to break down.

Alfredo Mejia could come into the side to add an extra body in coach Luis Suarez’s midfield, as a point will ensure that the South Americans go through.

  • Japan are one of two teams who have a chance to qualify from their group with a 100% record, with Brazil also currently on six points.

  • At the last Olympics in Beijing 2008, Japan finished bottom of their group on zero points after losing all three of their games.

  • Japan have only ever won a bronze medal at the Olympic games back in 1968. 

  • Honduras also finished bottom of their group in Beijing after losing all three of their games.    

  • Jerry Bengtson (pictured right) is the top scorer for Honduras and joint top scorer of the competition so far with three goals along with Senegal’s Moussa Konate.

  • Honduras have never won a medal at the Olympic games and have only ever competed three times at the games in Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Players to watch

K. Nagai

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The 23-year-old striker impressed in the Asian side’s win over the Spanish and his late winner against Morocco will have given him the confidence to face a tough Honduras defence.

Nagai's 30-yard lob in his last outing showed that he has the necessary composure in pressure situations, and he will hope to find further opportunities to evidence his class.

J. Bengtson

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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The New England Revolution striker appears to be the player who can cause the Japanese the most problems in this crucial group decider.

His strength in the air will make him a threat from set pieces and, after seeing him score in both games so far, Japan will have to watch him closely if they want to keep their unbeaten run going.

Editor's Prediction

Honduras know that a point will see them through whilst Japan have already qualified for the next round but still have a chance to finish the group on top with maximum points.

Both sides seem evenly matched in terms of style and, with both teams opting for a counterattacking style in their last two games, a draw seems the most likely outcome.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Japan U23

Honduras U23


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Japan U23 JAP
Japan U23 Japan U23
Honduras U23 HON
Honduras U23 Honduras U23

Top 3 Predictions

Japan U23 JAP
2 - 0
Honduras U23 HON
Japan U23 JAP
1 - 0
Honduras U23 HON
Japan U23 JAP
2 - 1
Honduras U23 HON