Good performance in the Gold Cup.
Good performance in the Gold Cup.
a good performance in the Gold Cup and hopefully you can qualify for the World Cup even if it is by the play-off place!
Very good Gold Cup, semis is a great achievement for Honduras.
Thanks guys. I was just happy to make the knockout rounds and then it's just a matter of when Mexico or the U.S.A. win
2017 Honduras Update: World Cup Qualifying, The Hex (Part 2)
Barely was the Gold Cup over and we were back into competitive action, trying to bridge the 5 point gap between us and the automatic qualificaiton places for Russia 2018.
It started with a trip to group whipping boys Panama. With only 1 point and 1 goal so far, it should have been an easy win. The final score of 3-1 might suggest that it was but, in an all-too-familiar scenario for Honduras of late, we made life hard for ourselves. A goal up and crusing, we went to sleep and let Panama score a soft equaliser from a corner. It should have swung back our way just after that as our opponents were reduced to ten men and we then won a penalty. I guess the pressure got to Diaz though as he blazed his shot wide. There was to be a final twist in our favour as debutant 18 year-old winger Leoandro Morales scored a cracking solo effort to give us the lead and Diaz made up for his earlier miss with a counter-attacking goal as Panama desperately tried to salvage a point.
Next up was one of the key games as we played host to El Salvador. If we won, we could close the gap to just two points but if we lost, we coould kiss our automtic qualificaiton chances goodbye. It started terribly for us as El Salvador were in control and grabbed an early goal. They then made the mistake of sitting back to protect their lead and we slowly came back into it. We were then handed a big chance to get back in it as we won a penalty in first-half stoppage time. Diaz made no mistake this time as he coolly slotted the ball away to level the match. In the second half, it was all one way traffic from us and a first goal for Honduras from striker Ortega gave us a priceless 2-1 win.
A few dyas later, we hosted Canada. Despite the calls of some Canadian colleagues for a tie, this was one we had to win and, coming confidently off the back of the result against El Salvador, we did just that. Another of my young stars, Reyes gave us a first half lead before Morales, in his first ever start, added teo more in the second half for a 3-0 win.
That result means the table with two games to play looks like this:
A fantastic turnaround now sees us in the automatic qualification spots! However, this is far from over. Our final two games? Mexico away and U.S.A. at home.... El Salvador must face the U.S.A. away but they finish with Panama at home meaning we will need something from one of those last two games. At least, we are guaranteed a play-off spot.
And a special mention to our newest star - Leoandro Morales. Just 18 and had never played for the national side before these macthes but scored crucial goals for us to boost our qualificaiton chances. I just wish I had picked him sooner!
Much better, knew you were capable of doing better in the hex.
Thanks deltablue. I just hope we can repeat one of our earlier victories over the USA and not end up ruing that defeat away to El Salvador....
2017 Honduras Update: World Cup Qualifying, The Hex (Part 3)
It had all come down to the last two games. We sat in the third and final qualification position, one point ahead of El Salvador but with two tough games against Mexico and the USA to come, we had a lot of work to do...
Away to Mexico (14th October, 2017)
The last thing you need when qualification is in the balance is a trip to play the best side in the region in front of 100,000 fanatical home fans. Our trip to the Estadio Azteca would not be a pleasant one... The pressure got to my boys and we were two goals down inside 5 minutes. Things got worse from there and we went into the break having conceded FIVE times. I made sure the players understood the atmosphere in the dressing room was a lot more hostile than the one in the stadium and we at least put in a better second half showing, salvaging a little pride as we reduced the defecit to 5-2. Luckily, El Salvador had also lost in their tough away tie with the US so we still had the advantage.
Home v. U.S.A. (18th Ocotber, 2017)
With El Salvador at home to Panama, the weakest side in the Hex, we needed a win over the Americans to be sure of going through. We didn't get off to the best of starts as the visitors scored after 4 minutes. We didn't let our heads drop however and we were soon level as Oscar Reyes continued his fine form with the equalising goal. But then came the news we had been fearing - El Salvador were a goal up in their game and we had to win. We pushed forward for the goal but had to remain diligent against the counter-attacking threat of the US forwards. Despite chances at both ends, no more goals were forthcoming and with El Salvador now 2-0 up, the play-offs beckoned. But, wait!! With less than quarter of an hour to play, news came through that Panama had pulled a goal back. Then, what?!? Panama scored another moments later!! The team that had only picked up one point in nine matches had suddenly snatched a 2-2 draw meaning our 1-1 tie with the Americans was enough to send us to the World Cup!!!!
The final table:
You have to feel sorry for El Salvador who just couldn't pick themselves up after that and went on to lose the play-off with New Zealand...
That mean our year finished with two friendly matches. They were organised by by assistant as I had left those slots free in case of play-off action so we played out an easy and rather pointless 6-0 win over Montserrat followed by a 3-1 win over Armenia thanks to a Diaz hat-trick (In was surprised to note afterwards that Armenia were ranked 31st in the world going into the game!)
Special mention this time to Oscar Reyes, scorer of the goal that got that vital point in the final qualifying game and one of my best young players.
2017 Review: Honduras
Copa Centroamericano: Finalists
Gold Cup: Semi-finalists
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying: 3rd (qualified for World Cup 2018)
December 2017 World Ranking: 40th (-5)
Quite an action packed year in the end with a total of 26 matches played! Overall, I was happy to qualify for the World Cup and I think we put in a decent showing in the Gold Cup. The only disappointment was that we couldn't win the Copa Centroamericano but we only have to wait until January 2019 for another shot... if I stay that long of course!
Without a doubt, the star player over the course of the year was Efrian Diaz. His goals in the Gold Cup and the qualifiers helped us go far and if he had been fit for the Copa Centroamericano, I'm sure we would have won it.
The Year Ahead...
There's only one thing we are focusing on next year - the World Cup in Russia. I know we will go as one of the underdogs but I'm hoping a kind draw will give us a chance of making the knockout rounds.
The Story So Far...
Code:Year | Nation | World Ranking | Notes 2011 | New Caledonia | 167th (+3) | Pacific Games QF 2012 | New Caledonia | 136th (+11) | OCE Nations Cup finalists, Coupé DOM Group Stage, Sacked Nov 2012 2013 | Haiti | 126th (+19) | Friendlies... 2014 | Haiti | 142nd (-16) | Caribbean Championship Winners! 2015 | Haiti | 131st (+12) | Gold Cup Group Stage; resigned June 2015 2015 | Honduras | 30th | Took job June 2015 2016 | Honduras | 35th (-5) | Reached 4th Round of WCQ; Olympics Group Stage 2017 | Honduras | 40th (-5) | Copa Centroamericano Finalists; Gold Cup Semi-finalists; Qualified for World Cup
2017 International Review
Here's a look at the major international finals from the last year:
Confederations Cup Final: Uruguay 3, Japan 1*Of course, this is not a major final in real life as it is an U23 competition but one thing I failed to spot when setting the game up was that this was created as a full international tournament with Spain, France, Italy and others sending full-strength squads so I thought I would include it.
African Cup Of Nations Final: Tunisia 2, Mali 1
Gold Cup Final: Mexico 1, Costa Rica 1 (Mexico win 4-2 on penalties)
Under 20 World Cup Final: Argentina U20s 2, Mexico U20s 1
Mediterranean Games Final*: Spain 4, Algeria 2
2018 World Cup Group DrawMajor shocks from the UEFA qualifying pool as Spain and France fail to qualify having not even made it to the play-offs!! There also seems to be a shift in footballing power in Africa with Ivory Coast missing out. As for Honduras, we have a chance, albeit a small one, of making the next round. It should be noted however that Uruguay are currently ranked number 2 in the world and Mail were African Cup of Nations finalists last year...
With qualifying now over, here are the 32 nations who made it and their groups for next summer's tournament in Russia:
Not a bad group for you. Surprised to see Kuwait in the World Cup, too.
And great work qualifying with Honduras, although I'd imagine Belgium's  youngsters (who by now are usually at their peak) will be too much for you. Are you planning on moving on after this tournament or having a go again?
There are definitely worse nations that you could have been pitted against. However, it will still be a difficult one. Always the possibility of sneaking past though
Very good group, and you owe Panama big time.
Gonna be tough in the World Cup but good luck.
As for me, I'm not sure what to do after the tournament. I'm sure many jobs will be available as managers resign, retire or get the sack but I'm not interested in a move to a 'major nation' just yet. In an ideal FM-world, the Kuwait job will open up as they have a few tournaments (WAFF Championship, Gulf Cup and Asian Cup) coming up next season. If I stay on, there will be the 2019 editions of the Copa Centroamericano and the Gold Cup to aim for so we'll wait and see.
Last edited by DodgeeD; 20-06-2012 at 08:15.
2018 Honduras Update: World Cup Preview
We didn't have any friendlies to play in the spring (for some reason, those dates are always greyed out when I try to arrange a match) so I decided to put my boys through their paces with 5 fixtures in late May and early June. We started with a send-off game in front of our own fans against South Korea (chosen for their similar world ranking to Belgium). It was a very even game but in the end we just edged it with another young striker Angel Palacios giving us a 1-0 victory 11 minutes from time.
We relocated to Eastern Europe as the finals drew nearer, first visiting Sofia to take on Bulgaria, a side who had very narrowly missed out on qualifying for the World Cup. I was expecting a tough game but for some reason the Bulgarains chose to give debuts to nine players and we were able to impose ourselves on the game qıite easily. Wilson Palacios and Fonseca, a 21 year-old defender in just his 3rd international game, scored the goals in a 2-0 win.
A little closer to Russia next as Honduras arrived in Baku to take on Azerbijan. Again, we were in control throughout the game and again we won 2-0, this time thanks to Angel Palacios and an own goal. And then we came to Russia itself with a friendly against the host nation. This was our toughest test yet and we were rocked by a hat-trick from Welliton (a naturalised Brazilian) inside the first half hour. Diaz pulled one back for us in the second half but there would be no more goals as we lost 3-1. There was time for one more practice match as we took on Russian side Biolog. We dominated the game but were a little wayward with our shooting, only getting 5 of our 20+ shots on target in a 2-0 win.
All in all, a decent build up and I think I've seen enough to say that we can at least make a good showing and, with a little luck, get out of our group.
The Starting XI
With my final squad now named, here's a look at the players I will pick as my first team, if fit. We will play in a 4-1-4-1 formation (or 4-1-2-3 depending on how you view my advanced wingers)
Behiker Rodas (Goalkeeper) - only 24 but with 40 caps to his name already. Was an injury doubt but thankfully recovered in time.
Yoni Alexander Henriquez (Right Back) - perhaps the weak link in the squad but he has been a default starter in most of my games so far due to a lack of depth in his position.
Emilio Izaguirre (Left Back) - thankfully went back on his decision to retire after last summer's Gold Cup, going on to play a key role in qualifying. With 114 caps, his experience will be invaluable.
Jhonny Palacios (Centre Back) - one of those players who always seems to raise his game for his country. Plays for Kuban so this will be like a home-from-home World Cup for him.
Ramon Fonseca (Centre Back) - a new addition to the squad after regular starter Rodiriguez picked up an injury. He impressed in the firendlies enough to get the nod ahead of more experienced but old and slow defenders.
Hendry Thomas (Defensive Midfielder) - team captain and another player in the centruy club with 120 caps to his name. He's planning to retire from the game for good after the World Cup but we already have his replacement with us in the squad in the shape of 20 year-old Kevin Lagos.
Wilson Palacios (Centre Midfield) - our most-capped player, still going strong at 33. Most of our play goes through him.
Nelson Suazo (Centre Midfield) - another youngster who has amassed a great deal of international experience in a short time and will be playing at his second World Cup.
Mario Martinez (Right Wing) - our best performer and last summer's Gold Cup and we'll be looking for his goals and assists in this tournament once again.
Oscar Reyes (Left Wing) - One of only two players from the Honduran league (after Fonseca) in the starting line-up (that won't be true for much longer though as he has agreed a deal to move to Stade Rennais in July). One of my finds as he was uncapped before I took the job. Scored some vital goals in qualifiyng and will hopefully do the same here.
Efrian Diaz (Striker) - our best striker by a distance. He will need to be on form if we are to get the goals to go through.
With the tournament days away, it seems the media don't make much of our chances:
But I have a sneaky feeling we can surprise the Belgians and get a result against Mali to make the second round.
There are some very open groups for the World Cup...including yours.
Firstly, well done on qualifying for the WC! However, I wouldn't be surprised to see you sneak through as runners-up from that group
2018 Honduras Update: World Cup Group GMatchday 1 v. Belgium
Bad news before the game as Nelson Suazo picked up an injury in training that would keep him out for all of the group stage. That meant adjusting my 4-1-4-1 to a 4-1-3-2, bringing in experienced striker Roger Rojas to partner Diaz. That proved to be a masterstroke as they each grabbed a goal before half-time. The Belgians were all over the place and had hardly mustered an attack, let alone a chance. I told the players to keep it going in the second half and, although we came under a little more pressure, we kept our cool for a famous 2-0 win!
In the other game, Uruguay (defending World Champions it should be noted) beat Mali 2-1.
Matchday 2 v. Mali
After the surprise win over Belgium, we were confident of getting a result against Mali that would go a long way to sending us into the next round. It soon became clear that our opponents were fired up for this game though with many a rough tackle flying in. Those tackles resulted in me losing both of my wingers, Martinez and Reyes to injuries before half-time. That shook us up a bit and Mail took advantage taking the lead with the last kick of the first half. We tried to force our way back into the game in the second half but it would prove futile as we left ourselves exposed on the counter-attack and Mali duly took advantage, scoring another with 7 minutes to go and beating us 2-0.
A surprise result in the other game as Belgium bounced back from their opening defeat to beat Uruguay 2-0. Tha meant all 4 sides were level on three points going into the final game!
Matchday 3 v. Uruguay
Going int o this game, we knew a point would be enough to send us through. The only problem was we had to get that point from the reigning World Champions, who, due to goal difference, had to win to advance. Much to my surprise, we had a lot of the early chances as the Uruguayans struggled to get hold of the ball. We took adavantage with 18 year-old winger Morales (in for the injured Martinez) giving us the lead on 25 minutes. I expected Uruguay to come at us after that but we maintained our lead until half-time and actaully had a couple of good chances to extend it. The South Americans finally remembered how to play in the second half and I was concerned that we would come to regret those missed oppotunities. Eventually, they equalised through an absolute screamer from 30 yards. A point, however, would still be enough for us. Uruguay had their chances but we always posed a threat on the break and so it was that a quick counter-attack in the final moments of the game put Diaz through on goal to give us a 2-1 win and send us into the next round!
Mali and Belgium played out a tense 0-0 draw, which was enough to send the Africans through in second place.
This is how the final group table looked:
Disaster for Uruguay and a pretty poor showing from a Belgian side packed with players from some of the top clubs in Europe. Still, I'm not complaining!
World Cup 2018 Group Stage
This is how the rest of the groups looked:
Host nation Russia fell at the first hurdle then but were unlucky to finish 3rd on 6 points. The biggest surprise has to be Algeria, who topped Group B with 9 points (some may argue that Scotland getting through the group stage counts as a bigger shock though)! Apart from that, the only other surprises were early eliminations for Holland and Uruguay.
And this is how the teams line up for the second round:
A tough tie for us but it was either Germany or Argentina so it doesn't make that much difference. Keep your eye on Algeria too - they have a good chance against Norway I think.
2018 Honduras Update: World Cup 2nd RoundSecond Round v. Germany
So our 'reward' for topping our group was a knockout clash with one of the pre-tournament favourites Germany (didn't matter really as had we finished second it would have been Argentina). Unfortunately, it seems the occassion got to my players a little as we started very nervously and the Germans were two goals up inside 15 minutes. Diaz out us back in it just before the half hour mark but we then went to sleep a bit and let Germany score a soft goal from a corner. Despite the fact that we were playing superior opposition, I gave the team a bit of the hairdryer treatment at half-time and they responded. An early second half goal from Rojas made it more of a contest and after that we played a lot better. Unfortunately, we couldn't convert our chances into goals. We did go very close in stoppage time however with the German goalkeeper producing a brilliant save to deny Diaz, meaning in the end we lost 3-2.
No shame in that defeat, both in terms of the opposition we were up against and the quality of our play, especially in the second half. Now, I'll wait and see what jobs open up after the tournament but I won't be quitting just yet - I'll happily stay on with this group of players if nothing tempting comes along.
The rest of the second round fixtures played out like this:
Algeria march on and the Czechs provided a minor shock as they knocked out Portugal (a virtual pre-cursor for tonight's Euro 2012 game perhaps?) Scotland also continue to impress - had we beaten the Germans, we would have played them in the quarter-finals!
World Cup 2018 - The Last Eight
Scotland's run finally came to an end in the quarter-finals but only just as Germany needed penalties to get past them. Algeria's crazy run also continued until they came up against an in-form Italy side in the semis. In the end, Italy were deserved winners having won every single game and then proceeding to destroy Germany in the final. England suffered semi final heart break against Germany once more (preferrable to group stage disappontment or second round humiliation I suppose!)
After the tournament, more than half of the teams started to look for new managers. Unfortunately, Kuwait did not and I didn't fancy a move to a European or South American side at this point so I've decided to stick with Honduras.
Beat Brazil only to lose to the Germans - typical England!
A great World Cup for Honduras, not helped by the draw but did well to get out of the group and a kinder draw might have seen you through further. What's the ambition going forward with Honduras? Win the Gold Cup? Establish yourselves as CONCACAF's top team? 2022 World Cup?
Nice World Cup.
Great job finishing first, unlucky on the draw though. Germany where always gonna be hard to beat.
Good job DodgeeD.
Great work DodgeeD! I wasn't sure you'd do anything more than perhaps a draw against Mali (as even they are usually pretty strong in later years), and you end up topping the group! How has that boosted the World Rankings?
Well done dodge! loving this story mate.
A great showing for Honduras in the World Cup. Can't feel too bad about going out the the eventual runners up!
Good showing at the World Cup Dodgee.
2018 Honduras Update: Autumn FriendliesAfter all the fun of the World Cup, it was back to friendlies until the end of the year. We had 5 arranged against various opposition.
First, we played regional rivals El Salvador. They had given us a hard time in World Cup Qualifying so it was a good sign of our progress that we controlled much of the game. However, it was also a bad sign that we conceded an easy goal to fall behind and ultimately had to settle for a 1-1 draw. We then travelled to Montreal to take on the Canadians. Again, we were the better team but this time we made our chances count, establishing a two goal lead before a late own goal for Canada. Still, a 2-1 win was a good result.
With the Central American Nations Cup coming up, we set up a match with Nicuragua. They are one of the weaker sides in the region and it showed as Efrian Diaz scored all the goals in a 4-0 win. To round the year off, we headed to Scandanavia to take on Norway. We were on the back foot for most of the game but our counter-attacking play saw us grab two goals. Norway eventually pulled one back but we would hold on for the 2-1 win. We then made the short journey to Denmark but we were not so lucky this time, again outplayed as we lost 1-0.
Last edited by DodgeeD; 22-06-2012 at 19:08. Reason: Added screenshots
Should I stay or should I go?
On Dec 31st, I received a job offer from Qatar... Not sure what to do so I'd like your opinions on it. Here are a few pros and cons about taking the job:
Pros - Qatar are hosts for the next World Cup
- There are plenty of extra tournaments to keep me busy in the meantime (Gulf Cup, Arab Cup of Nations, WAFF Championship and more if I take charge of the U23 side)
Cons - Qatar have not qualified for the 2019 Asian Cup
- The current squad looks pretty weak and my Honduras team is much better.
- The Central American Nations Cup is about to start and if I leave Honduras now, I may never get another shot at it.
- We are a few months away from the CONCACAF Gold Cup
Last edited by DodgeeD; 22-06-2012 at 19:09.
I wouldn't go personally, I get the feeling it's only really hosting the World Cup that is attracting you, and that wouldn't be enough of a draw for me, unless of course you feel you can do well with them and perhaps make a bit of a show at your own World Cup? In reality though, the squad probably isn't good enough for that.
Up to you, but I would stay with Honduras.
Nahhh, you can get there with Honduras tbh.
Stay with Honduras.
I'd stick with Honduras as well.
Screenshots now added to the earlier posts.
Thanks for the input guys - it's appreciated.
A very good year for Honduras with some promising results. We were able to hold our own against more established footballing powers and ruffle a few feathers at the World Cup. Some of the older players such as Hendry Thomas have retired now but a very good group of youngsters has come and taken their place meaning the future looks bright.
The Year Ahead...
So, in the end, I turned Qatar down. I will definitely manage in the Middle East at some point in this career but now is not the right time. I have two tournaments coming up next year with Honduras and I would like the chance to win something with this group of players. The groups for the Copa Centroamericano have been drawn and look like this:
We are clear favourites for the competition (hosted by Guatemala f.y.i.) and winning it has to be the target.
The Story So Far...
Code:Year | Nation | World Ranking | Notes 2011 | New Caledonia | 167th (+3) | Pacific Games QF 2012 | New Caledonia | 136th (+11) | OCE Nations Cup finalists, Coupé DOM Group Stage, Sacked Nov 2012 2013 | Haiti | 126th (+19) | Friendlies... 2014 | Haiti | 142nd (-16) | Caribbean Championship Winners! 2015 | Haiti | 131st (+12) | Gold Cup Group Stage; resigned June 2015 2015 | Honduras | 30th | Took job June 2015 2016 | Honduras | 35th (-5) | Reached 4th Round of WCQ; Olympics Group Stage 2017 | Honduras | 40th (-5) | Copa Centroamericano Finalists; Gold Cup Semi-finalists; Qualified for World Cup 2018 | Honduras | 20th (+20) | World Cup Second Round
2018 International Review
There was only one tournament people were watching this summer:
World Cup Final: Italy 4, Germany 1
End of Year World Rankings:
Look who sneaked into the top 20. Algeria saw a huge jump after their World Cup semi-final run while Scotland were also big climbers this year.
Next season will be busy on the continental championships front with the Asian Cup, Africa Cup of Nations, Gold Cup and Copa America all taking place along with the U20 World Cup.
Congratulations on a good World Cup, just unlucky to end up having to play such a big team so early on in the knockout rounds. 20th in the World is also a fantastic achievement!
Thanks Paul - can't complain too much about getting a tough team at the World Cup! Very happy to have moved so high up the rankings though - hope we can do well enough at next year's tournaments to stay there.
Fantastic work with Honduras- getting to the knockout stages is a great achievement!
I wouldn't have taken the Qatar job; seems too much of a step back, and you'd do well to win a game at the WC, let alone qualify for the latter stages.
Love this, great work so far. Enjoy international management so keep up the good work!
Great concept and great career!
The most fun I ever had (in international management) was with Guadeloupe a few years ago. I may have to look into those extra leagues and competitions and get back into small nation management at some point.
Top 20 Moving on up!
Great work at Honduras.
2019 Honduras Update: Copa CentroamericanoWarm-Up Matches
2017 got off to a busy start as we had two early January friendlies organised ahead of the 2017 Central American Cup in Guatemala. First up were Chile with a tough test anticipated.If you look at the stats, Chile had the better of the game. However, we had one vital thing that made the difference - Efrian Diaz in red-hot form. The Liverpool forward was lethal in front of the Chilean goal scoring an amazing six goals as we grabbed an unexpected 6-3 win!! We then travlled to Guatemela to take on the hosts in our final warm-up game. Again Diaz was the man, scoring a hat-trickwith Suazo adding another in a 4-1 victory.
Panama were our first opponents in Group A and once again, Diaz ran the show scoring a hat-trick before half-time. With the next game only two days away, we eased off in the second half and nearly paid the price as our opponents scored twice but with the second coming deep intoinjury time, our lead was never really under threat and the match finished 3-2. Next, we faced Costa Rica in a re-match of the 2017 final. It was a much tougher game (as shown by Diaz being restircted to just one goal!) but we took our chances better in a 3-1 win. That meant our place in the semis was already secure making our final group game with Belize something of a dead rubber. I used the chance to rotate the squad a bit but we still got an easy 4-0 win with Diaz this time scoring a brace.
That left the final group tables looking like this:
The semi brought up a potentially tricky tie with El Salvador. We played a patient controlling game and it did the trick with two goals coming just before half-time. Diaz was a little muted throughout the game but he always has a potential goal in him and this proved to be the case again as he sealed the deal with a final goal late on making the score 3-0.
We faced our group stage opponents Costa Rica in the final. Unlike the group game, this was a one-sided affair as we dominated the possession and chances. However, also unlike the group game, goals were hard to come by. We missed a penalty early on and were then denied by some first-class goalkeeping and some wayward finishing. Just as it seemed that the breakthough would never come, that man Diaz popped up again to score on 88 minutes and hand us the trophy courtesy of a 1-0 win!
Very happy with that as we made up for our final disappointment of two years ago. Also great to see Diaz fufilling his potential with a goal in every game we played. Amazingly, he didn't finish topscorer as a Guatemalan player scored 6 goals in one game against Nicuragua and 4 against El Salvador in the 3rd place play-off...
Anyway, we have now qualified for this summer's Gold Cup and the groups are as follows:
No complaints there as we avoid the big two - the quarter-finals should be a formality. Then it's all a matter of who we have to face - avoid Mexico and the USA and a semi-final place beckons...
Great job winning the Copa Centro Americano!!!
Good Luck in the Gold Cup!!
Not a bad group in the Gold Cup.
2019 Honduras Update: Spring/Summer Friendlies
There was time for just three friendlies before the Gold Cup got underway. As my first choice XI and tournament squad is more or less settled these days, these games were just to keep those players playing together rather than a chance for new players to come in or new tactics to be tested.
With most European nations busy with Euro 2020 qualifiers, I decided to take on some African opposition. That meant a trip to Libreville first for a match with Gabon. In what is now becoming a familiar story for us, Diaz was the star of the show netting all of the goals in a 4-0 win. A month later, we hosted Nigeria, a side ranked 15th in the world going into the game. Our opponents played well but we were too strong in attack for them as we scored four for the secobd game in a row. No prizes for guessing that Diaz was the hero with a hat-trick (taking his international tally to 23 goals in his last nine caps!!) in a convincing 4-1 win.
Just prior to the Gold Cup, we took on the USA. We had the better of the game but Diaz finally had an off day, failing to find the net. Reyes scored for us but it was a goal sandwiched between two efforts from Jozy Altidore meaning a 2-1 defeat, our first of the calender year.
2019 Gold CupGroup Stage
Our tournament got underway with our easiest game against Nicaragua. We completely dominated, not letting them anywhere near our goal but we were a bit wasteful at the other end, managing only three shots out of thriteen on target. luckily, two of those were goals thanks to young striker Moran scoring a great solo effort and Diaz converting a penalty in a 2-0 win. Costa Rica were up next, the third time we had faced them in competitive action this year. Much like the Copa Centroamericano final, we dominated but this time goals were easier to find. Even though Diaz didn't find the net, he set up his strike partner Rojas for two with Johnny Palacios getting the other in a 3-1 win. The scoreline should have been greater after Costa Rica had Oscar Meija sent off on 65 minutes but if anything they played better after that, grabbing their goal 15 minutes from the end. We had already qualified before our last game with Canada and we were perhaps guilty of relaxing a bit too much as we fell two goals behind in the first half. Diaz eventually pulled one back out it was too little too late as we lost 2-1.
That defeat meant we slipped to second in the group with the tables looking like this:
But finishing second in the group turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Canada were drawn against USA in the last eight with Mexico also in their side of the draw and we got Guatemala with a potential semi-final against either Costa Rica or Curaçao. We were back to form in a game we dominated once again with veteran left-back Izaguirre coming up for a rare goal and Diaz scoring twice in a 3-1 win.
Once again, we faced Costa Rica with a place in the final against either Mexico or the USA at stake. Our Central American were determined to avoid yet another defeat at our hands and started strongly, taking the lead after just nine minutes. We fought hard to get back in the game and it looked like the advantage had swung our way when Oscar Meija, having just returned from suspension after a red card against us in the group stage, was sent off with 15 minutes to go. However, try as we might, the breakthrough wouldn't come until Jhonny Palacios made himself the hero with a dramatic headed equaliser deep into stoppage time!! There were no goals in extra time meaning penalties. Costa Rica were exhausted by this point and it showed as they missed three of their four spot kicks and we won the shoot-out 3-1!!
One more match between us and a first ever Gold Cup. It's just a shame that match was against Mexico. Had it been the USA, I would have given us a decent chance but Mexico were a tougher proposition. We had more of the ball but they had more chances and they made them count with goals from Pedro Alvarado and Javier Hernandez either side of half-time. Jhonny Palacios did his bit for us again with a goal 13 minutes from the end to set up an exciting finale. However, Mexico's big game experience proved decisive as they sat back and shut us out, consigning us to a 2-1 defeat.... Still, no shame in losding to Mexico and at least we made a game of it near the end.
We got some recognition in the awards as goalkeeper Behiker Rodas and defender Jhonny Palacios were named in the Gold Cup Dream Team.
It's now a year of friendlies before we enter the 2022 World Cup Qualifying competition next June.
Well done mate getting into the final and hard luck v mexico.
2019 Honduras Update: Autumn Friendlies
While we waited for the smaller CONCACAF nations to go through the first two rounds of World Cup Qualifying, Honduras played a series of friendlies, each time taking on opponents from the top 30 of the World Rankings.
First, we headed back to Africa, this time to Kinshasa to play DR Congo. A tight game exploded into life in the second half with 4 goals in the space of ten miuntes giving us a 3-1 lead. DR Congo made it 3-2 late on but we held on for a deserved win. Our next game was in the rather less exotic suroundings of Glasgow, where we played World Cup quarter-finalists Scotland. We played a counter-attacking game and it paid off as we earned a 3-1 win with two of the goals coming in stoppage time at the end of each half.
We then took on the other surprise nation from last year's World Cup, Algeria. A composed performance (despite an own goal from our goalkeeper) saw us run out 3-1 winners once again. A trip to Greece was up next. We played well in an even game with 0-0 being a fair end result. The last game of the year took place in Trabzon, Turkey. A shocking start saw us go 3-0 down but a spirited fightback saw us pull two goals back before half time. The game was much tighter after that and we were unable to get the equaliser, thus finishing the year with a 3-2 defeat.
Overall, another great year to build on 2018's World Cup showing. The Copa Centroamericano, while a minor trophy, brought the first silverware of my time in Honduras and the run to the final of the Gold Cup served to underline our status as one of the top sides in the CONCACAF region.
Without a doubt the star of the show was Efrian Diaz, whose goals, especially at the start of the year, were what brought this team success. In total, he scored 31 goals for his country over the last twelve months!
2019 Honduras Best XI - Diaz was clearly the star but Jorge Rodiriguez and Jhonny Palacios did their part in defence as well.
The Year Ahead
2020 will be short and sweet as we have no games until the summer with only three friendlies and the Third Phase of World Cup Qualifying to negotiate. In this phase, the teams are divided into 3 groups of 4 with the top two from each group advancing to the fourth and final phase (aka 'The Hex') in 2021. Here are the groups:
Mexico, of course, will be tough but we will have to watch out for Jamaica as well...
The Story So Far...
Code:Year | Nation | World Ranking | Notes 2011 | New Caledonia | 167th (+3) | Pacific Games QF 2012 | New Caledonia | 136th (+11) | OCE Nations Cup finalists, Coupé DOM Group Stage, Sacked Nov 2012 2013 | Haiti | 126th (+19) | Friendlies... 2014 | Haiti | 142nd (-16) | Caribbean Championship Winners! 2015 | Haiti | 131st (+12) | Gold Cup Group Stage; resigned June 2015 2015 | Honduras | 30th | Took job June 2015 2016 | Honduras | 35th (-5) | Reached 4th Round of WCQ; Olympics Group Stage 2017 | Honduras | 40th (-5) | Copa Centroamericano Finalists; Gold Cup Semi-finalists; Qualified for World Cup 2018 | Honduras | 20th (+20) | World Cup Second Round 2019 | Honduras | 34th (-14) | Copa Centroamericano Winners; Gold Cup Finalists
Last edited by DodgeeD; 25-06-2012 at 20:13.
2019 International Review
Plenty of continental action this year with Africa, Asia North America and South America all holding their championships. At youth level, there was the U20 World Cup as well.
African Cup of Nations Final: Ghana 3, Mail 1
Asian Cup Final: Iran 2, South Korea 2 (Iran win 4-2 on penalties)
Copa America Final: Colombia 2, Chile 2 (Colombia win 5-3 on penalties)
Gold Cup Final: Mexico 2, Honduras 1
U20 World Cup Final: Bulgaria U20s 2, Spain U20s 1 (forgot the screenshot - sorry!)
Next year sees Euro 2020 and the Oceanic Nations Cup take place.
I've now holidayed through to the summer of 2020 and played the first couple of World Cup Qualifiers. Now, I have said previously that I don't want a big European job at this time but after Euro 2020, these offers came in:
All tempting in their own way... Slovenia are the weaker of the three sides but may provide the best challenge. I think they also have a chance of at least making the play-offs for the next World Cup (they are in Spain's group but should be able to beat the other teams). RUssia are strong currently (ranked 5th in the World) and Ukraine are the only threat to them in their qualifying group. And England... my home nation just coming off the back of a Euro 2020 win and ranked top nation in the world - a chance to lead them to glory in Qatar?
Or stick with Honduras for one more showing on the world's biggest stage and see if I can pull off an upset at the next Gold Cup in the meantime?
Great work on this save
I'd say give Slovenia a shot, would be a fun new adventure with a new set of cups to compete in.
Personally as an Englishman I couldn't turn down England however bad they currently are, but as European Champions and a chance to win the world cup I would jump at it!
Plenty of reasons for staying at Honduras where you have done a fantastic job, but I would be getting on the first plane to Heathrow!
Great showing in the Gold Cup... and I'd go to England.
Great showing to reach the finals with Honduras. It would be tough to turn down your home nation though...
Yeah, I'd go for the England job too. You can hardly get much more out of Honduras than you have already. So I'd take the big home country job, go for one or both of the big tournaments, get it out of your system. After that you'll likely have your pick of jobs.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm enjoying my time with Honduras but the prospect of another Copa Centroamericano, another Gold Cup and 16 games of World Cup Qualifying over the next 18 months doesn't appeal a great deal....
I'll post one more Honduras update and then announce my next move
2020 Honduras UpdateThere was not much action for Honduras in the first part of 2020 as we had no spring friendlies arranged and no Honduran involvement in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers. That meant we didn't play a match until the end of the European season in June when Bosnia paid us a visit as part of thier Euro 2020 preparations. We got off to a poor start with a couple of defensive mix-ups resulting in us going two goals down. However, we made a few changes at half-time and played much better, levelling the match at 2-2 thanks to goals from Suazo and Diaz.
We then got our World Cup Qualifying campaign underway with an easy 2-0 win over Jamaica (Diaz on the scoresheet again). We then travlled to St Vincent for what would prove to be my final game in charge. It should have been an easy win but the home side surprised us with their attacking flair, twice coming from behind before our superior skills and conditioning came to the fore with two late goals securing a 4-2 win.
With rumours circulating about a post-summer move to Europe, it was time for Dustin Powers to move on:
I leave Honduras ranked 27th in the world, which is actually only three places higher than when I took over. Nevertheless, I feel I made good progress with them, especially in terms of overseeing a transition from a reliance on aging stars to bringing in a number of exciting youngsters.
Now it's time to take on a new job and a new challenge...
A sort of homecoming...
I know, I know... I said I wasn't that interested in any big European or South American jobs at this stage but THIS IS ENGLAND!! In the end, I just couldn't turn down the chance to manage them, especially as they are the number one team in the world right now having just won the Euros. That means I get a shot at winning the next World Cup (Qatar 2022) with the Confederations Cup to come before that and Euro 2024.
Our qualifying group for the World Cup is as follows:
We should be able to meet the FA's expectations of qualifying with ease.
As for the squad, I'm planning to have a good look at the players available ahead of my first match in charge against Wales in September. There are a fair few older players in the squad (Tom Huddlestone, Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and Theo Walcott are all the wrong side of 30) but there are some players at their peak too (Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to name a few). I will be looking to bring some youngsters in as well.
Last edited by DodgeeD; 26-06-2012 at 15:30.
Good luck with England- Croatia will be difficult (ask Steve McLaren )
Good job with England I figured that was too good to turn down.
Good move, fairly easy group but Croatia might be a bit tricky, your strongest team should still beat them comfortably though.
good luck mate
Good shot at glory now.
Good luck with England!
Qatar would have be an interesting challenge
Been a really interesting career so far, good luck with England
Good luck with England DodgeeD. Big step up from Honduras!
2020 England Update: World Cup Qualifying & Autumn Friendlies
After a few weeks of settling in to my new job and scouting players, I was ready to name my first squad. As I mentioned before, a 34 year-old Rooney is still around and the likes of Joe Hart, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ryan Betrand, Jack Rodwell, Jack Wilshere, Alex Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley are all still in their prime. There are also a few new faces I will be using to fill out the first team and it's those who I will introduce to you now:
John Naylor (DRC) - The only player in the national pool currently plying his trade outside England, having signed for AC Milan from Arsenal last season. I will be deploying him at right back.
Simeon Dyson (DM/MC) - Only 22 but already has 30 caps and looks set to be a star for England for the next decade at least.
Wayne Holden (MC) - Also just 22 years of age. He will be back-up to Dyson for now but they could form a very good central midfield partnership in years to come.
Dan Winnet (ST/AMRL) - One of England's top performers in their recent European Championship win. He can play up front or on the wings and that versatility will be very useful in tournament situations. His surname also presents a fantastic opportunity for puns should he score the winner in a vital match.
Don Sheldon (ST) - He will fill the same role I had Diaz in for Honduras. Phenomenal pace and acceleration couple with his finishing skill will make him our main goal scorer.
World Cup Qualifying European Section
My first game in charge was against Wales at Wembley and it turned out to be a great way to introduce myself to the English footballing public. Don Sheldon scored after just 2 minutes and completed his hat-trick before half-time. He also set up Winnet for the 4th goal and added one more late on in a 5-1 win. Unfortunately, Winnet picked up a knock in the game and Sheldon got injured in training ahead of our visit to Norway meaning I had to make changes up front. That showed as we were held to a 0-0 draw in Oslo with Wayne Rooney missing a couple of sitters.
Next, we faced our easiest and most difficult games (on paper at least) as we played Andorra at home before travelling to Zagreb to take on Croatia. There were no surprises against Andorra as a fully fit Sheldon returned to the side and again scored 4, all of them set up by Rooney, with Phil Jones nodding in a couple of corners for good measure in a 6-0 win. Against Croatia, we fell behind for the first time under my management but responded well as Wilshere equalised before half-time. We then took control in the second half with Sheldon and Jones securing a 3-1 win.
After 4 games, the table looks like this:
Having got the trips to Oslo and Zagreb out of the way, we are now in a good position to take the automatic qualificaiton spot.
We saw the year out with two friendlies in November. I arranged a visit to one of my previous employers as we travelled to the Caribbean to play Haiti. It was an easy enough game with some youngsters given the chance to show their stuff in a 3-1 win. The next game was a bit tougher as we took on Brazil at Wembley. A confident performance saw us win 2-1 and I was impressed with the manner in which we limited the Brazilians chances.
2020 ReviewA good start to life as England boss as we top our qualification group for Qatar 2022 and got a well-deserved friendly victory over Brazil. I've seen enough to say we can be confident of challenging for the World Cup as long as we avoid injuries to key players. The first choice squad is very good but there is a definite lack of depth in the goalkeeping and striking positions. There is nobody anywhere near the level of Joe Hart between the sticks and the fact that injury to Dan Winnett led to 34 year-old Wayne Rooney starting the last four fixtures tells you all you need to know about our options up front.
Resigned in June 2020. World Ranking: 27th (+7)
December 2020 World Ranking: 1st (-)
Next year, I will be looking to secure qualificaiton for the World Cup. We will also participate in the Confederations Cup, which will give me a good chance to see what my squad is like in tournament conditions.
The Story So Far...
Code:Year | Nation | World Ranking | Notes 2011 | New Caledonia | 167th (+3) | Pacific Games QF 2012 | New Caledonia | 136th (+11) | OCE Nations Cup finalists, Coupé DOM Group Stage, Sacked Nov 2012 2013 | Haiti | 126th (+19) | Friendlies... 2014 | Haiti | 142nd (-16) | Caribbean Championship Winners! 2015 | Haiti | 131st (+12) | Gold Cup Group Stage; resigned June 2015 2015 | Honduras | 30th | Took job June 2015 2016 | Honduras | 35th (-5) | Reached 4th Round of WCQ; Olympics Group Stage 2017 | Honduras | 40th (-5) | Copa Centroamericano Finalists; Gold Cup Semi-finalists; Qualified for World Cup 2018 | Honduras | 20th (+20) | World Cup Second Round 2019 | Honduras | 34th (-14) | Copa Centroamericano Winners; Gold Cup Finalists 2020 | Honduras | 27th (+7) | Resigned June 2020 2020 | England | 1st (-) | Took job June 2020
2020 International ReviewNext year will see the African Cup of Nations, Gold Cup, Mediterranean Games and U20 World Cup take place. England will also be in action in the Confederation Cup with the group draw as follows:
Three major finals took place in the calender year:
Euro 2020 Final: England 1, Italy 0*
OCE Nations Cup Final: New Zealand 5, Fiji 0
Olympics Final: Mexico U23s 4, Chile U23s 1 (forgot the screenshot again!)
December 2020 World Rankings
That should be a straightforward group to get out of. A final against Italy beckons!
Should have no problems in your group, the other group looks a lot tougher
Hmmm, England to host Euro 2028 - that could give me enough incentive to stay in this job for a long time:
Not sure why the English FA is planning to build new stadiums in Holland though!
Good luck with England, should be able to take them to a couple of trophies especially seeing what you were able to do with Honduras.
Do you think the job will keep you interested until 2028?
2028 is a few years away. I guess they need that to annex Holland first
2021 England Update: World Cup Qualifying & A Spring Friendly
The New Year had a slow start with just three games organised before the end of the domestic season. Spain were our first opponents of the year, coming to Wembley for a friendly in February. We outplayed them enjoying more possession and more chances. Goals from Jay Rodriguez and Dan Winnett meant the absence of Don Sheldon was not felt as we won the game 2-0.
The following month, Montenegro came to town for a World Cup qualifier. We tore into them with Phil Jones scoring with just 30 seconds on the clock. He added another midway through the first half before a Wayne Rooney double and an injury time strike from winger Shaun Cheetham put us 5-0 up at the break. Both Jones and Rooney completed their hat-tricks in the second half, giving us an emphatic 7-0 win.
Just after the conclusion of the domestic season, we made the short journey to Cardiff to take on Wales. Don Sheldon was back in the side and, when he opened the scoring after three minutes, the Welsh must have feared the worst. We did go on to dominate the game but we couldn't add to our total despite several clear cut chances and had to settle for a 1-0 win.
That leaves us well-positioned at the top of our group and gives us a good run of form to take to the Confederations Cup.
good wins mate.
2021 Confederations CupWith summer upon us, we travelled to the Middle East to take our place as European Champions in the Confederations Cup. There was time for just one warm-up game but it was not a great one as we stopped over in Saudi Arabia and were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline. Nevertheless, I was confident of doing well and felt we had a good chance of reaching the FA's expectation of winning it.
After the shock defeat to the Saudis, we seemed a bit nervy in our opening game against Asian champions Iran. An own goal gave us the lead but we let the Iranians pull level before Don Sheldon gave us a half-time lead. Sheldon added another in the second half but we relaxed too much and let Iran pull one back late on making for a nervous final few minutes. Thankfully we held on for a 3-2 win. A much better performance was expected against Qatar and that's exactly what we gave. 9-0 was the final score as the hosts were torn to shreds. Sheldon grabbed 4 and I felt glad I had turned down the chance to manage Qatar while still at Honduras. Those two wins meant the last game against Colombia was just to decide who would top the group. Sheldon scored the only goal of the game early on to give us a 1-0 victory and top spot in the group.
The only downside of topping the group was that Italy had slipped up against Ghana and come second in Group A. That meant a clash between the number 1 and 2 ranked sides in the world. We needn't have worried however as we made our chances count in a 4-1 win. The game was actually closer than the scoreline suggests but we were more clinical in front of goal and took advantage of the gaps Italy left at the back to score two late goals.
Ghana, having beaten Colombia in the other semi, awaited in the final. We dominated the early exchanges with Winnett and Sheldon scoring in the opening 15 minutes. Chamberlain added a third before the half hour mark and Winnett then scored his second before half-time. We eased off a little in the second half and Ghana pulled one back but it was a comfortable win in the end, the 4-1 result earning me my first trophy as England manager.
England also dominated the post-tournament awards with Joe Hart picking up the Best Goalkeeper award, Don Sheldon finishing as Top Scorer and the whole team collecting the Fair Play Award having not been shown a single card throughout the tournament.
Excellent start with England! Even if it is only the Confed Cup, we'll still take it
Great win in the Confed.