MX23RW : Sunday, August 1 11:33:29| >> :600:445573:445573:
Jul 22, 2021 at 12pm UK at Kashima Soccer Stadium
Honduras U23sHonduras Under-23s
Romania U23sRomania Under-23s

Oliva Casildo (26'), Daniel Alvarez Rodas (48')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Oliva Casildo (45+1' og.)
Alexandru Dobre (44'), Dulca (71'), Sintean Mezin (83')

Preview: Honduras Under-23s vs. Romania Under-23s - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Olympic Games Men's Football clash between Honduras Under-23s and Romania Under-23s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Honduras Under-23s and Romania Under-23s will both play their first match of the Olympic Games Men's Football tournament on Thursday, when they clash in Kashima.

The two nations have been drawn in Group B alongside New Zealand and South Korea and will both be desperate to get off to a winning start to boost their chances of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Match preview

Honduras Under-23s find themselves at this stage having progressed through the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship in 2020.

They firstly advanced through the group stage in relatively comfortable fashion, thrashing Haiti 3-0 and drawing with Canada and El Salvador to finish at the top of Group B on goal difference.

Miguel Falero's side would then record an impressive 2-1 win over USA Under-23s in the semi-final thanks to goals quickly either side of half time through Juan Obregon and Luis Palma.

While they eventually fell short in the final to Mexico on a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw, the semi-final victory meant Honduras took one of the two Olympic places on offer, seeing them move into this year's tournament somewhat against the odds.

They recently took on Japan Under-23s in a warm-up friendly but fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat, and they will hope to put that behind them and start the group stage in style.

To do that, they will have to get past a Romania Under-23s side who should fancy themselves to qualify out of the group.

The Romanian national team qualified for this year's Olympic Games tournament through their impressive performance in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2019.

They would progress out of the group stage in style, recording a 4-1 win over Croatia Under-21s and a 4-2 win against a heavily-fancied England Under-21s side as well as a goalless draw with France Under-21s to keep the chasing side at bay.

Romania's first-placed finish saw them drawn against Germany in the semi-finals, and they would fall short, suffering an agonising 4-2 defeat as Luca Waldschmidt and Nadiem Amiri each netted a goal after the 90th minute to cruelly snatch the victory before extra time.

Nonetheless, the top-two finish in the group stage saw Romania earn a place in the Olympics Football tournament for their Under-23s side, which is set to look similar to the Under-19 team that impressed on the continental stage two years ago.

Honduras Under-23s form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Romania Under-23s form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W

Team News

Despite being allowed to name three over-aged players, Honduras opted to include just two in their Under-23s squad, calling upon Primeiro de Agosto midfielder Brayan Moya and Olimpia forward Jorge Benuche, who spent last season out on loan in the Portuguese top flight with Boavista.

Benuche should lead the line with the support of attacker Douglas Martinez, who plays his club football for Real Salt Lake in the MLS.

Furthermore, Rigoberto Rives could play a key role behind the forwards, having recently been snapped up by Reggina after a successful loan spell from Inter Milan last year, seeing him find the net seven times in 34 appearances.

Dragos Nedelcu was initially named in Romania's squad for the upcoming tournament, but he was forced to drop out to complete a transfer, seeing Ronaldo Deaconu come in as a replacement.

They will come into the game without midfielder Tudor Baluta, who has been ruled out through injury.

George Ganea should lead the line with the support of Valentin Gheorghe, who has registered 28 goals and nine assists in 119 appearances for Astra Giurgiu in all competitions.

Honduras Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Guity; Maldonado, Carlos Melendez, Decas, Christopher Melendez; Nunez, Rodriguez, Moya; Rivas; Benuche, Martinez

Romania Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Popa; Boboc, Pascanu, Stefan, Ghita; Marin, Ciobanu, Florescu; Sintean, Ganea, Gheorghe

SM words green background

We say: Honduras Under-23s 1-1 Romania Under-23s

The two sides come into the game on a fairly level playing field, and we cannot quite pick a winner, instead opting for a point each from the opening match.

The nature of the match could see both sides take few risks as they prioritise avoiding a harmful defeat to start the group stage, potentially seeing this become a low-scoring encounter as a result.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX

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