The one word Socceroos fans are all Googling
AT AROUND 1pm today, a stack of Australian football fans probably hit up Google and typed in one word: Honduras.
Not because it's the name of the latest cat to have a video inexplicably go viral on the internet, but because that's who the Socceroos will play in a two-leg tie next month to determine who will be going to the World Cup in Russia next year.
Honduras defeated Mexico 3-2 in today's final round of qualifying matches in the CONCACAF region to ensure it finished fourth in the group. The top three sides automatically progress to football's showpiece event in 2018 while fourth plays off - this time against Australia - to keep its dream alive.
In remarkable scenes America lost 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago and Panama defeated Costa Rica 2-1. That saw Panama jump to third while the US - who was third heading into today's clashes - tumbled to fifth in a spectacular choke that condemned it to the World Cup wilderness for the first time since 1986.
To prepare your for November's do-or-die battles, here's a quick guide to the Socceroos' next opponent.
WHERE IS IT?
Located south of Mexico, Honduras borders Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
It boasts a tropical climate but temperatures are cooler in the mountains. The north coast reportedly sees plenty or rain and can be stiflingly hot, but the dry season starts in November so the Socceroos may escape any wet weather.
HONDURAS'S FOOTBALL PEDIGREE
Known as Los Catrachos, Honduras's national team has been to three World Cups. Its first appearance in 1982 was followed by a long drought before the Central American nation won through again in 2010 and 2014.
It failed to win a game in South Africa in 2010, losing to Chile and Spain before drawing with Switzerland in the final group clash as it conceded three goals without scoring any.
It was a similar story in Brazil four years later. A 3-0 loss to Switzerland preceded a 2-1 loss to Ecuador before it suffered another 3-0 drubbing at the hands of France in its final outing.
The country will no doubt be hopeful of a better showing if it overcomes Australia and books a spot in Russia. Honduras's win over Mexico on Wednesday was just its third win in 10 outings to go with three losses and four draws in this edition of the CONCACAF qualifying phase.
WHO TO WATCH
Romell Quioto has led the way for Honduras with five goals in qualifying while Alberth Elis has found the net three times. Elis can play up front or out wide and his speed causes plenty of problems for defenders, but his finishing isn't always so clinical.
Both he and Quioto play for Houston Dynamo in the American MLS while 24-year-old Anthony Lozano has also posed problems up forward and signed with Barcelona this year, though he isn't seeing any first-team action.
CULTURE SHOCK AWAITS AUSTRALIA
Former Socceroos coach Holger Osieck coached Canada before taking the reins of the Australian side and knows all about trying to qualify for a World Cup through CONCACAF.
Several years ago he said playing in Central America was a different beast players who ply their trade in Europe will find confronting.
"To play road games in not only Mexico, but you go to Honduras, Costa Rica ... at times it's hell, you cannot imagine what happens there," he said.
"I would like to see some of the European teams play there under these conditions.
"They set you up in the jungle, and then 2000m high, air-conditioning that doesn't work in the hotel, you cannot close the windows, you have the mosquitoes everywhere, the food.
"You have noise outside the hotel, people stay the entire night on the streets, the drumming and trumpeting, then in the games (with) reckless tackles, it's not easy.
"If the top teams in Europe go there they would struggle, so that is very often under-rated."
"They (the FFA) wanted Panama - far easier logistically in terms of travel, training pitches, hotels," he told Fox Sports.
"Honduras is, as they put it bluntly, rough.
"You can see it now - fans abusing Socceroos when they arrive, rocks being thrown at the hotel at night, all the dirty tricks (that are) part and parcel of international football."
'MURDER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD'
- Agriculture is the main economic driver with coffee being its main export.
- Its capital city is Tegucigalpa, often referred to as Teguz and the country has a population of just over 9 million.
- According to residents of La Union, a small community near Yoro, at least once a year it rains fish. The phenomenon is known as "lluvia de peces".
- In 2015 archaeologists stumbled on a lost city buried deep within the Honduran jungles where they found a pyramid, mounds and sculptures believed to be from a civilisation that existed thousands of years ago.
- A one way flight from Sydney to Tegucigalpa will cost you around $1500 and take you anywhere from 36 to 50 hours with two stopovers.