Canada struck late, but suffered a 2-1 defeat to Honduras in Concacaf Nations League play at a rain-soaked Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula on Monday night.
Drenching rains in San Pedro Sula made for treacherous footing, with balls played to feet often eaten up by massive puddles, making build-up play or combinations extremely difficult on the water-logged pitch.
The hosts managed the conditions best in the first half, striking first in the 13th minute. Kevin Lopez latched onto a Romell Quioto cross, took it down off his chest following a bounce and slotted a low shot inside the far post to put Honduras in front.
John Herdman made four changes just before the hour mark in the hopes of getting anything out of the match, other than being soaked.
Alphonso Davies drew a threatening free-kick soon thereafter, but the former Vancouver Whitecaps homegrown slipped on his attempt and the ball scuffed wide in the 63rd minute. All Canada had to show for that chance was a divot Davies immediately replaced.
Honduras put the match away in the 78h minute through Minnesota United midfielder Kervin Arriaga, who took a ball cut back by Edwin Solano and put his deflected shot past Milan Borjan.
Canada had a late lifeline when Jonathan David ran onto a Cyle Larin through ball and tapped it past onrushing Honduran goalkeeper Luis Lopez four minutes from full time.
Les Rouges’ chances of nicking a late goal got washed away when Alistair Johnston was sent off in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time for a second bookable offense.
- 13’ — HON — Kevin Lopez
- 78’ — HON — Kervin Arriaga
- 86’ — CAN — Jonathan David
- THE BIG PICTURE: After a resounding 4-0 win over Curacao in Vancouver to open their Concacaf Nations League campaign, Canada suffered a 2-1 defeat in San Pedro Sula. But did we learn much of anything about Canada when drenching rains made the pitch nearly unplayable? Combined with the canceled friendlies, first against Iran and then Panama, John Herdman's side certainly didn’t get much out of a critical window leading up to November’s World Cup, where they will face Belgium, Croatia and Morocco in Group F. Honduras, which finished last in Octagonal qualifying, are thrilled with the rare home win.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Kervin Arriaga scored this goal which proved to be the winner for Los Catrachos, sending what seemed like a growing crowd throughout the match into hysterics.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: This wasn’t the night for the beautiful game, even though Davies, Junior Hoilett and David did their best for Canada. We’ll give the nod to the victors and Arriaga, the Loons midfielder who showed poise in the box to score the decisive goal that put Honduras atop Group C.
- HON: Tuesday, March 28 at Canada | TBD (Paramount+, TUDN in US; OneSoccer in Canada) | Concacaf Nations League
- CAN: TBD | September International Window