As I said in part one, this is only the third time in Honduras’ history to have reached a World Cup finals. What’s more, as Honduras is a young nation (theodora.com say roughly 57% of the country is under 24 years of age), many Catrachos today didn’t get to experience the first one they entered (in 1982, in which they beat Spain, in Spain).
They entered the 2010, but unfortunately didn’t get to register a single goal (England weren’t much better) and lost to Spain this time. Last year they reached the Olympic finals (which again they had to play Spain, and won) and did reasonably well (if you follow the blog, you might remember that my father, my brother and I went to watch Honduras v Japan. We were outnumbered by loud people dressed in wonderfully strange far-eastern fancy dress, but it was still a fairly interested nil-nil draw). Hopefully in Brazil next year, they will score, and if history repeats itself yet again, they’ll probably have to face their former conquistadors.
The point is, it is a huge deal for Honduras to make it to the World Cup again. Being a supporter of the team, I am quite critical of them and I feel they could have beaten some of the teams in the group quite easily, considering that many of their players are based in the top European Leagues (I can quickly count four who play in the UK, one of whom, Espinoza, played a huge part in Wigan winning the FA Cup last year) and in the US, which far outweighs other countries in Central America. They have quality, but they only show it on rare occasions, a bit like England, which as we all know, can lead us to wanting to scream with frustration.
When you compare it to England who beat Poland the same day, let’s face it, despite England playing reasonably well, it was more of a case of a big sigh of relief. For Honduras, it was celebration. Seconds after the whistle, fireworks went up, beer went flying, people loaded themselves on to pick-up trucks, police were letting them go, robbers weren’t robbing, people were hugging. It was a big deal. After the game, Wilmer, Marcio (Wilmer’s brother) and I took to the streets and I have never felt so safe walking Tegus’ streets at night. It was carnival, even in the petrol station we were sat at on Blvd Central America. The celebrations were even greater on Blvd Morazan (Tegus’ version of Broad Street. (If you don’t know Broad Street, it’s Birmingham’s answer to Times Square, kind of)). My housemates Judith and Bruno were up that way watching the party, and they reported back that people were taking their ipads on the street to take photos. This would never, ever usually happen here in Tegucigalpa. What’s more, Tegucigalpa’s parties are supposed to be a bit lame compared to La Ceiba. I can’t imagine what it was like.
I, because I thought it might be a bit dodgy to take photos that night, decided to leave my camera at home. However, I have nicked a few photos from the internet to give you an idea of what the parties were like, as well as a picture of the team celebrating.
And to finish off, a youtube video, like always!