TORONTO – Canada did just about everything they needed to beat Honduras on Tuesday night in Toronto. Everything, that is, except score – and it certainly wasn’t for a lack of opportunities.
“I thought we missed some easy chances,” said Canadian head coach Stephen Hart in his postmatch press conference.
Hart noted that he keeps bringing up the same point – that if his team keeps creating chances, someone is going to find that scoring touch. Only so far, it hasn’t happened.
Though Canada's European-based players will now enjoy some time off, MLS-based players now return to their clubs with the season at its halfway point and Hart hopes that they’ll be able to find that touch with their clubs ahead of Canada's next qualifiers in September.
“We need to be better on that,” he said with a laugh that sounded like it was more frustration than anything else. "I cannot really rectify the problem because now I don’t see these players until September. It’s a club problem. It’s my problem when they come to me."
Finishing aside, Hart pointed out a few players he thought put in excellent performances, notably in a veteran in the midfield and a handful of his MLS-based players.
“Julian de Guzman was fantastic," he said. "[Atiba Hutchinson] moved the ball well, Will Johnson put in a lot of energy. A good performance from the midfield. I thought Ante Jazic’s movement was excellent. He just didn’t get the balls at times.”
Hart also reserved some words of praise for the home fans, who ensured a pro-Canada crowd – a sharp contrast to Canada's last home qualifier against Honduras, played in Montreal in front of a pro-Honduran crowd.
“Fantastic,” he said. “That’s what we need and that little push on the end they almost took us over the top – fantastic. I’ve got to thank them.”