August 23, 2017 / 6:14 AM / 4 months ago

Soccer - Japan midfielder Honda scores on Pachuca debut in Mexico

(Reuters) - Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda scored on his belated debut for Pachuca in the Mexican side’s 4-1 win over Liga MX rivals Veracruz on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Pachuca v Veracruz - Liga MX - Hidalgo stadium, Pachuca, Mexico - August 22, 2017. Pachuca's player Keisuke Honda gestures. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A calf injury kept the 31-year-old out of the Pachuca lineup for five matches since he joined the club after his AC Milan contract had expired in June.

Honda came off the bench in the second half at the Estadio Hidalgo to replace Angelo Sagal, who had opened the scoring in the first half, and netted the home side’s fourth goal in the 73rd minute.

“Not bad for a first step,” Honda, who scored with a left-foot shot from outside the box, was quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency.

“Finally being able to join my team mates, I was psyched up when I was called on to play. We won, and I have no words to express how I feel. I have to work a bit more on raising my game,” he said.

Victor Guzman also scored a brace for the home side while Cristian Pellerano netted Veracruz’s only goal in the 78th minute.

Pachuca are currently fifth in 18-team standings on nine points from six games.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien

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