Houston Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia made his World Cup debut on Sunday in the Honduras national team’s 3-0 loss to France in the opening game for both teams in Group E.
Garcia entered the game at halftime with Honduras trailing 1-0. Los Catrachos were also down a man after Wilson Palacios was sent off in the 43rd minute for his second yellow card as France drew a penalty kick. Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema scored two goals for Les Bleus and his shot off the post resulted in an own goal for the other as France gained control of the group.
Garcia has worked to recover from a hamstring injury suffered against the LA Galaxy on May 17. He did not play in any of Honduras’ three pre-World Cup friendlies but was fit enough to play the final 45 minutes and test France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a shot on goal in the second half.
It was Garcia’s 93rd appearance for Honduras, but first at a World Cup after he was part of the squad in 2010 at South Africa but did not play. Garcia is sixth on Honduras’ all-time appearance list.
Honduras will face Ecuador in its second off three group stage matches on Friday at 5 p.m. CT in Curitiba, Brazil. Honduras (0 points) and Ecuador (0 points) both need a win while Group E rivals France (3 points) and Switzerland (3 points) meet earlier in the day in Salvador. Honduras finishes group play against Switzerland on June 25 in Manaus.
Another Dynamo player takes the World Cup stage as Brad Davis and the United States face Ghana in Group G tonight in Natal. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on ESPN and Univision.