TORONTO — Four points from two qualifiers sounds pretty good — especially to a Canadian side that's gotten off to a horrible start in each of their last three trips through CONCACAF.
But Canadian players aren’t sure if they would have been happy with that total if you'd offered it to them last week.
They know that they were gifted an opportunity to be in a very comfortable position, but couldn’t snap at the chance and instead had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Honduras on Tuesday. If there is one consolation that they can take from this missed opportunity, it's that starting with the friendly against the United States, through the game against Cuba and then the Honduras match, they put in performances that could — and perhaps should — have resulted in wins.
Usually with Canada, encouraging performances have been followed up with poor efforts and sloppy results. But now shutout follows shutout.
It may not be six points, but it's a start.
“Obviously disappointed to not get the three points at home,” said Dwayne De Rosario. “In crucial home games, we know how important three points are. Despite that, I’m very pleased with the effort the guys showed. We’ve got a lot of positives to take away from this game.”
The team got time to reform some chemistry with a camp in South Florida prior to this recent three-game stretch. With the Canucks unlikely to line up a friendly in the August international window, they will have less time to unearth that chemistry before their two games with Panama in September.
“Any three of those games — whether it was against the Americans, obviously we won against Cuba and tonight against a World Cup caliber team where I think we should have won,” said defender Andre Hainault, who's staked a solid claim on one of the two starting spots in the center of the defense. “There are positives there and it’s good for Canada soccer, but it’s no surprise to me or any of the guys because we know we have the quality there. It’s just a matter of putting it together and we’re showing glimpses of it.”
And with the defense finally squared away, the hope is that Panama gets more than a glimpse — and Canada comes away with more than four points.