Canada, Honduras draw as semifinals confirmed at Concacaf Olympic Qualifiers

Canada and Honduras played to a 1-1 draw on Thursday night in the final Group B match at the Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament, confirming the semifinal matchups that will determine the region’s two representatives at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Here’s what awaits the United States and Mexico from Group A, with the semifinals set for Sunday, March 28 at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. The finalists will book tickets to Japan.

  • Honduras vs. United States, 6 pm ET
  • Mexico vs. Canada, 9 pm ET

The particulars were locked in after Vancouver Whitecaps FC center back Derek Cornelius emphatically headed home in the 28th minute, only for Honduras to equalize in the 30th minute when Denil Maldonado headed home a free kick.

The back-and-forth put Honduras atop Group B and dropped Canada into second place, as both teams finished with 1W-0L-2D records. Los Catrachos scored one more goal, giving them pole position based on goal differential.

On Wednesday evening, Mexico earned first place in Group A after defeating the United States 1-0 at the Under-23 tournament. El Tri had a 3W-0L-0L group-stage record on home soil, while both national teams swept aside Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic in Group A’s earlier games.

The US are looking to avoid a third straight Summer Olympics absence, last making the tournament in 2008. Head coach Jason Kreis’ team recognizes the pressure and now needs to beat Honduras to advance to Tokyo. Back in 2015, the US lost 2-0 against Honduras in the semifinals behind two goals from now-former Houston Dynamo FC forward Alberth Elis.

Meanwhile, Canada’s U-23s are hoping to make the Olympics for the first time. Their “A team” previously reached the 1984 edition, but they’ve otherwise come up short when competing in the age-restricted field. They face a challenging task, with Mexico winning the 2012 London Games and owning a record seven Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying titles.