Sharjah: Surprise package Honduras struck late through a 74th minute strike from substitute Jorge Bodden against ten-men Uzbekistan to reach their first quarter final at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup on Monday.
Qualifying from Group A behind multiple champions Brazil, the Central Americans dug in deep against tiring opponents, who found it increasingly difficult to defend constant attacks on their goal.
Uzbekistan were reduced to ten men after defender Akramjon Komilov picked up his second yellow card in the 24th minute. But rather than giving up, the Asian champions altered their tactics and played to their strengths by falling back in numbers and then coming up with quick counters.
Egged on by a cheerful crowd, it was Uzbekistan who had the best of the early exchanges with Odiljon Hamrobekov testing goalkeeper Cristian Hernandez in the 14th minute with a long-range effort.
However, after Komilov’s red card the situation changed as the Uzbeks fell back to defending. Kevin Alvarez came close to scoring in the 27th minute when he shot across the face of the goal, and then luck came in the way of an Alvarez header that rattled the woodwork and went out of play.
The all-important goal for Honduras finally came in the 74th minute when Bodden poked in a Velasquez pass from close range.