November 6, 2017 / 5:01 PM / a year ago

Honduras draft in striker Hernandez for Australia playoff

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Costa Rica v Honduras - National stadium, San Jose, Costa Rica, October 7, 2017. Eddie Hernandez of Honduras celebrates his goal against Costa Rica. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

(Reuters) - Honduras announced a surprise recall for Eddie Hernandez on Monday, with the powerful striker looking set to recover from a fractured cheekbone in time for this weekend’s World Cup playoff against Australia.

Hernandez has scored six goals in 19 internationals and was a key player in Honduras’ last two qualifiers, scoring a goal in the 1-1 draw with Costa Rica and grabbing an assist in the 3-2 win over Mexico that secured their playoff spot.

However, he was left out the squad to play the Socceroos – with veteran Carlo Costly taking his place - after sustaining his facial injury two weeks ago.

The playoff begins in San Pedro Sula on Nov. 10 with the second leg in Sydney five days later.

Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond

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