Soccer | Honduras National team 2, Boca Juniors 0

Honduras tops Boca Juniors 2-0 in friendly match

 

Honduras cashed in while Boca Juniors squandered its chances in a friendly Wednesday night at Sun Life Stadium.

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

Famed Argentina club team Boca Juniors brought the bigger name. The Honduras national team brought the better game — at least on the scoreboard.

Jerry Bengtson’s first goal, a lunging, flopping header in the 23rd minute, put Honduras ahead, and Bengtson’s second goal, a shot from the edge of the area in the 89th minute finished off a 2-0 win in a friendly at Sun Life Stadium.

Both Bengtson goals followed attack flurries by Boca, which had the better chances. Boca Juniors controlled the second half, but couldn’t finish. It came within a crossbar bounce of tying the score in the 76th minute when, off a free kick from about 35 yards out, Cristian Cellay’s headed a drive toward the top of the goal. Honduras goalie Noel Valladares, caught out a bit, extended back to tip the shot off the underside of the crossbar.

Fortune’s winds blew behind Valladares from early in the match. The first scoring chance came when he found himself well out of position, past the middle of the area and Boca’s Leandro Parades had only to nestle or lob a shot past Valladares to open the scoring. Parades put his shot over the net.

Not so lucky was Valladares’ counterpart, Sebastian D’Angelo. D’Angelo got beaten to a long high bouncing ball by Bengtson, who booted a shot off the right post a step before colliding with D’Angelo. As the ball ricocheted back toward him with an open net, Bengtson scrambled not quite to his feet and launched himself to head home the rebound, resembling (appropriately given the venue) a dolphin on land.

Although Boca outshot Honduras 8-3 in the first half, Honduras forced more corner kicks (4-3).

After Boca couldn’t convert second-half possession control into the tying goal, Bengtson struck the clinching blow. From the edge of the area, he lost a defender with a zig-zag dribble, then turned and fired into the right side of the goal.

The game drew a gathering that covered perhaps 40 percent of Sun Life’s lower bowl. The crowd was undoubtedly hurt by the game being played on a week night (the two previous soccer events this summer at Sun Life have been on Saturday nights); that a United States-Mexico match acted as home tractor beam to some local soccer fans; and the possibility that it would be an ersatz version of Boca Juniors on the Sun Life pitch.

Tuesday, a question saying some Honduras fans found the expected Boca lineup to show a lack of respect for Honduras was regarded as “disrespectful” by Boca vice president Oscar Moscariello, who claimed Boca always played the best of those available and playing well.

But with this match falling between Sunday’s 2-0 first-division win against Tigre in Argentina and Saturday’s match against All Boys, only forward Nicolas Blandi played Sunday and Wednesday.

Two other Wednesday starters, Cristian Cellay and Diego Rivero, and two players on the bench, Cristian Alvarez and Orlando Gaona Lugo, were on the bench Sunday.

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