Honduras is set go into Wednesday's clash with Australia as underdogs but coach Jose Luis Pinto believes it will give his side a major advantage over the Socceroos when they take to the field at ANZ Stadium.
Source:
SBS The World Game
13 Nov 2017 - 10:51 PM  UPDATED 13 Nov 2017 - 10:52 PM

With a sell-out crowd expected in Sydney for the do-or-die intercontinental playoff match, Pinto suggests the weight of expectation from 83,000 screaming fans could cause the Socceroos to crumble.   

The Colombian born coach is confident his players will be free to play their natural game and believes his side has what it takes to secure World Cup qualification.

"They are the ones that are now under pressure," he said.

“In San Pedro Sula we were under pressure, but now it’s them.

“That will suit us because it will leave us with a lot of space on the field.

Honduras footballers get lively welcome in Sydney
Honduras have arrived to an enthusiastic welcome from a small group of fans two days before their World Cup playoff game against the Socceroos in Sydney.

“I plead with the people that they keep trusting us, because we are so close to reaching the World Cup.”

Coach Jorge Luis Pinto made up for the long flight with two training sessions on Monday.

The Hondurans are unlikely to have much support on Wednesday night, despite the fact they remain in with a chance after a 0-0 draw in their home leg last weekend.

"It's not a huge community," one supporter called Carlos said of the number of Hondurans living in Sydney.

However, based on the Sydney Games he did expect some fans to travel.

"A few usually do (travel). For the 2000 Sydney Olympics I was surprised that there was a good size of visitors," said Carlos, who was present when Honduras beat Australia 2-1 in that tournament.

Australia are favoured to progress to Russia, but Carlos expected Honduras to be competitive and wouldn't be too upset if the Socceroos advanced.

The scary stat that doesn't bode well for the Socceroos
The Socceroos have had plenty of experience with World Cup playoffs, but one is looming larger than the others ahead of Wednesday night's decider with Honduras.

"I hope Honduras will win, and I'm pretty sure they are going to have a good game," he said.

"For the time I've been here, 30 years, I'm a good supporter of Honduras, but also I support Australia, half and half.

"So I hope the best team will win, either one I'd be happy."