Business-like. Haiti put up a more fight fervent fight than many expected, but Honduras ultimately posted a very business-like win over their Caribbean nation, their 2-0 result at Red Bull Arena giving them sole possession of first place after one round of Group B play.
El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago, having drawn in the night’s opening match, sit tied for second, with Haiti occupying the group’s cellar.
Honduras got off to a near-ideal start when potentially former-Sounder Mario Martínez set up his namesake Ronny in the fourth minute, the Honduran forward’s right-footed blast from the middle of the box giving the group favorites an early lead.
That lead persisted through most of an uneventful match, with the Hondurans failing to put another shot on Frandy Montrévil until Marvín Chavez’s insurance tally in the 78th minute. The San Jose midfielder opened his left foot on a weak shot from inside the arc, a ball Montrévil either failed to pick up or misjudged as it rolled toward him. Unable to kick out in time, the Haitian goalkeeper allowed Honduras to double their lead and seal the match.
Despite the lackluster performance, the Honduras posted the first multi-goal win of the tournament, becoming the first favorite to hold serve. With Mexico still struggling and the United States recalling a diminished squad, it’s worth asking whether nations like Honduras, Panama, or Costa Rica could break through and become the fourth nation to win this tournament (Canada is the only other country besides Mexico and the U.S. to claim a title).
If the Hondurans are going to be that team, they’ll have to play better than they did tonight, because although they recorded a two-goal victory, their underlying form was not that impressive.