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Watch watch United States vs Honduras
Date : January 24,2010
Time : 03:00
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Team Profile: United States
World Cup high: Beating England 1-0 in the first round of the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. USA went into the match on a seven-game losing streak and it is said that readers in England assumed the score was 10-1 and had been misprinted. The match has been labelled the 'Miracle on Grass'.
World Cup low: Having failed to qualify for a World Cup for 40 years after the 1950 event, USA made their return in 1990 and were promptly thrashed 5-1 by Czechoslovakia. They lost their other two group games by one-goal margins to Italy and Austria.
World Cup legend: Bert Patenaude scored four goals in three games at the 1930 tournament, including the first ever World Cup hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over Paraguay. Despite only winning four full caps, he scored six goals for his country.
The story so far: Despite a 40-year absence after 1950, USA has become a regular fixture at World Cups since 1990 and South Africa will mark their sixth consecutive tournament.
Their best result came in the first World Cup as they finished third, losing 6-1 in the semi-finals to runners-up Argentina. It's still the best showing for any team outside the European and South African confederations. However, they were unable to repeat the feat in 1934, exiting after a 7-1 defeat against hosts Italy in the first round.
After missing the 1938 World Cup, USA returned in 1950 when the competition resumed following World War II and were drawn against England, who bookies had rated as the 3-1 tournament favourites. USA, meanwhile, were rated as 500-1 outsiders and had lost seven games in a row by a combined score of 45-2.
In one of the biggest shocks in football history, USA won 1-0 thanks to a 37th-minute goal from Joe Gaetjens, although both sides failed to escape the group stage.
In their next tournament, in 1990, there would be no miracles. USA lost all their matches, first going down 5-1 to Czechoslovakia, 1-0 to Italy and 2-1 to Austria.
There was hope for the sport in America, however, as they earned the right to hold the 1994 World Cup. The venues were East Rutherford, N.J., Detroit, Orlando, Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Pasadena. The average attendance for the tournament was 69,000 with a total attendance of 3.6 million.
The hosts enjoyed a good showing, drawing with Switzerland, beating Colombia - with the help of Andres Escobar's ultimately tragic own goal - and lost to Romania, sneaking into the second round as one of the best third-placed sides. In the knockout stages, they lost 1-0 to eventual champions Brazil at Sandford.
Bringing the World Cup to American soil was supposed to generate more interest in the sport and, although it took some time, it seems to have had the desired effect.
After making the second round in 1994, they endured a miserable France 98, losing all three games including a 2-1 defeat to Iran. They bounced back in 2002, though, with a shock 3-2 win over Portugal before drawing with co-hosts South Korea and then losing 3-1 to Poland. Having made the knockout stage, they beat local rivals Mexico 2-0 before going down to a 1-0 defeat to finalists Germany.
Again, though, they were unable to build on a successful tournament as, despite a 1-1 draw with Italy, they finished bottom of their group, losing to Czech Republic and Ghana. However, there are high hopes for a successful tournament in 2010, and there is a genuine expectation among many Americans that Bob Bradley can lead the side into the quarter-finals and perhaps even go further.
However, they had already booked their place in South Africa when they edged out Honduras four days earlier, winning 3-2 as a Conor Casey brace and a crucial goal from Landon Donovan proved enough.
Team Profile: Honduras
The story so far: After only one appearance in the World Cup, Honduras, wrapped in political turmoil during the past few months, are dreaming of a brighter future. Their sole appearance came in 1982 and they put up a creditable showing. They drew with hosts Spain and Northern Ireland, but a defeat to Yugoslavia in the final game cost Honduras a place in the second group stage.
However, the country's World Cup history will always be associated with a conflict that broke out with El Salvador in 1969. Relations had been tense due to immigration between the two neighbouring nations before rioting broke out during and after a qualifying game for Mexico 70 in San Salvador. The Salvadoran Army launched an offensive in Honduras and fighting raged on until a ceasefire was called six days later. Despite the problems running far deeper than sport, this has been labelled the 'Football War'.
Costa Rica had looked poised for victory after Brian Ruiz scored two goals in the first half, but the Ticos crumbled in the second half, and the game played in Washington ended in a draw, which, coupled with a 1-0 win against El Salvador, allowed Honduras to return to the World Cup by virtue of their better goal difference.