• Honduras players before their World Cup qualifier against Mexico in October (Getty Images)
All you need to know about Honduras ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off against the Socceroos, with the first leg on Saturday morning (AEDT).
Source:
AAP
9 Nov 2017 - 1:55 PM  UPDATED 9 Nov 2017 - 1:55 PM

Honduras: The lowdown before they play Australia

THE TEAM

'Los Catrachos' - a nickname meaning 'The Hondurans' - are looking to qualify for their third-straight World Cup, and fourth overall.

On each previous appearance they've failed to win a game or get out of their group.

Honduras are ranked 69th in the world, wedged between Slovenia and Uganda.

THE STARS

Maynor Figueroa - The Honduran captain spent almost a decade in the Premier League and marshalls his country's defence. Suspended for the first leg.

Alex Lopez - The 25-year-old is Honduras' chief creative outlet and is likely to play behind the striker and pull the attacking strings.

Emilio Izaguirre - The dependable left-back played for Celtic for seven seasons, including one alongside Tom Rogic.

Romell Quioto - The Houston-based winger has been one of Honduras' stars through qualifying, scoring six goals.

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THE COACH

Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto has won league titles in Peru, Costa Rica, Venezuela and his homeland during a 33-year coaching career.

His finest hour came at the 2014 World Cup, when he led Costa Rica to defeat Uruguay, Italy and Greece on the way to the quarter-finals.

He is a survivor, known as an adversarial coach.

THE SELECTION ISSUES

Like Tim Cahill, striker Eddie Hernandez is in a race against time after a facial injury.

In suspended pair Maynor Figueroa and Alberth Elis, Honduras has two of their biggest names out, like Australia's Mark Milligan and Mat Leckie.

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THE VENUE

The Estadio Olimipico Metropolitano holds around 40,000 and is located in the country's second city, San Pedro Sula. It has sold out for the match.

Well-travelled USA international and ex-Premier League goalkeeper Brad Guzan ranks the stadium in his "top five most epic" venues in the world due to the passion of fans.

THE FORM

Honduras scraped into the six-team final CONCACAF group at USA's expense after securing a draw with regional heavyweights Mexico on the last day of qualifying.

They finished fourth in the 'hexagonal' - with three wins from 10 games - after another final day drama, beating Mexico 3-2 at home to sneak their playoff place ahead of the USA, who miss the World Cup for the first time in 32 years.

THE COUNTRY

Honduras was part of Mayan civilisation before it was conquered by colonialist Spain. It won independence early in the 19th century and shares a border with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

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The country of nine million people is one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere - it is ranked alongside India, Timor Leste and Iraq on the Human Development Index.

Tegucigalpa is the capital, and the currency is the Lempira.