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Honduras struggle again in 4-2 loss to Israel

(Reuters) - Honduras, who face France in their World Cup opener in two weeks' time, suffered a second straight defeat in a warm-up for the tournament with a 4-2 loss to Israel in Houston on Sunday.

Honduras lost 2-0 to Turkey in their opening friendly on Thursday and once again they struggled against UEFA opposition.

Israel's early pressure paid off when they grabbed the lead in the 34th minute through a superb strike from Eran Zahavi, who grabbed the ball outside the area and drove it into the bottom corner.

Two minutes after the break, though, Honduras equalised with an even more spectacular goal - Roger Espinoza unleashing a fierce left foot drive from 25 metres which crashed in off both posts.

It took only five minutes for Israel to restore their advantage, however, with Tal Ben Haim's harmless looking shot deflected in off Honduras defender Maynor Figueroa.

Israel went 3-1 up on the hour when Gil Vermouth struck the upright and Omer Damari reacted well to control the loose ball and slot home.

Vermouth got his reward in the 74th minute, adding Israel's fourth with a low diagonal strike that went in off the far post after a smart head down from Bebar Natcho.

Honduras grabbed a consolation seven minutes from the end when Espinoza found Carlo Costly at the back post and the big striker headed in.

After playing France, Honduras must tackle Ecuador and Switzerland in World Cup Group E.

The Central Americans face England in their final warm-up game on June 7 in Miami.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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