PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Honduras coach Luis Suarez says his team may be an outsider, even "the Cinderella of our group", but he rejects any suggestion it plays dirty.
"Some call it a good style of aggression, others might call it an intense style of play" he said ahead of his team's World Cup opener against France on Sunday. "We want to win, but certainly can't be called violent."
Honduras played a bruising pre-tournament friendly against England littered with fouls, one of which saw defender Brayan Beckeles sent off.
Earlier Saturday, French coach Didier Deschamps said Honduras was "combative" but "I certainly don't want to limit this team to just being aggressive fighters." Suarez noted his team didn't get any red cards in the qualifying matches, suggesting the focus on the team's physicality was misplaced.
Honduras has made it to the World Cup finals just twice, but has never won a match. In South Africa it failed to score.
But with Suarez at the helm, Honduras might have found the manager who can cause an upset.
In 2006, he was in charge of Ecuador — which is in the same group as Honduras this time around — when it stunned Poland 2-0 and reached the quarterfinals. In September, Honduras became only the second team to defeat Mexico at Estadio Azteca during World Cup qualifying. The team also beat the United States and Costa Rica on its way to Brazil.
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