Welcome, right, has been called up to replace striker Carlo Costly [GALLO/GETTY]

The Hondurans have exploded on the international scene in recent years, with a trio of players making it into the big time via the unusual route of English Premier League minnows Wigan Athletic.

Maynor Figueroa and Hendry Thomas are still plying their trade for the Latics, while midfield kingpin Wilson Palacios has shot into the European Champions League with Tottenham Hotspur.

But it is the veteran striker Carlos Pavon who is the side's hero, the 36-year-old hitting the winner to qualify against El Salvador.

Ranked 40th in the world, the Hondurans boast both muscle and flair as they arrive in South Africa in the role of dark horses.


Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Ricardo Canales (Motagua).

Group H fixtures

Wednesday June 16

Honduras v Chile 
 Spain v Switzerland 

Monday June 21

Chile v Switzerland 
 Spain v Honduras 

Friday June 25

Chile v Spain 
 Switzerland v Honduras 


Sergio Mendoza, Emilio Izaguirre (both Motagua), Mauricio Sabillon (Hangzhou Greentown), Osman Chavez (Platense), Johnny Palacios, Boniek Garcia (both Olimpia), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan Athletic), Victor Bernardez (Anderlecht).


Danilo Turcios, Ramon Nunez (both Olimpia), Hendry Thomas (Wigan Athletic), Edgard Alvarez (Bari), Roger Espinoza (Kansas City Wizards), Amado Guevara (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Tottenham Hotspur), Julio Cesar de Leon (Torino).


Walter Martinez (Marathon), Georgie Welcome (Motagua), Carlos Pavon (Real Espana), David Suazo (Genoa). 

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies