TENAFLY, N.J. — Honduras is building for the future while Colombia is in the thick of the race to qualify from South America for the World Cup next November in Qatar.
The two national teams’ divergent paths will cross in a friendly match at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. ET.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute the game ($24.95), which will be available on cable, satellite and digital PPV via iN Demand, DirecTV, DISH, FITE.TV, Fanatiz and PPV.com.
Colombia, which is in fourth place (tied on 17 points with Perú) in the South American qualifying group, is coached by Reinaldo Rueda. Coincidentally, Rueda was in charge of Honduras when that nation qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, ending a 28-year drought.
“This meeting will serve as preparation for the qualifying games for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that the Colombian team will play between the last week of January and the first of February against Perú and Argentina,” Rueda said.
Colombia is scheduled to host Perú on Jan. 27 and then play at Argentina on Feb. 1. While the two top national teams (Brazil and Argentina) in South America are cruising, the race for the other two automatic qualifying berths, plus a spot in an intercontinental playoff, remain up for grabs.
Through eight games of World Cup qualifiers in the Concacaf region, Honduras is in last place in the Octagonal, with six matches remaining. With only three points and no victories against three draws and five defeats, Honduras has virtually been eliminated.
The top three nations in the region – Canada, the U.S. and Mexico – will gain automatic qualification – with the fourth-place team playing against the winner of the Oceania region (most likely New Zealand) for a spot in Qatar.
In the next round of qualifiers, Honduras will host first-place Canada on Jan. 27, welcome El Salvador on Jan. 30 then travel north to face the U.S. on Feb. 2.