TORONTO — Though they may see it as two points dropped, Canada remain unbeaten in the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 0-0 draw with Honduras at BMO Field on Tuesday night.
Playing their opening home game of this portion of the competition, the Canadians dictated much of the play and even found some vulnerabilities in the solid Honduran backline, but making the most of the chances they created ultimately let them down.
Canada had two separate opportunities with free kicks in dangerous positions, but both times, Dwayne De Rosario and Atiba Hutchinson sent their deliveries over the bar.
De Rosario had a chance 18 minutes in when he let a long range shot go from the left side that Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares got his hands to but couldn’t hold, but no Canadians followed the play in and Valladares recovered and then claimed the ball.
The Hondurans were largely ineffective going forward in the first half, but in the final few minutes, they had their best chance that went wasted. New Houston Dynamo signee Oscar Boniek García fed in a low cross from the right side to Antony Lozano in the box, but he pushed his close-range shot wide.
Canada came achingly close to breaking the deadlock in the second half. Again carrying the bulk of the play, Stephen Hart's side had back-to-back corner kicks just past the hour mark.
In the 68th minute, Will Johnson’s corner from the left side was met by David Edgar, who rose well to head it but it just went inches wide.
Honduras made few incursions into the Canadian half and, with just two minutes of normal time remaining, Roger Espinoza’s rocket of a shot went just over the crossbar.
Canada then put a final flurry onto Valladares' goal in extra time, but all were for naught. First, Kevin McKenna put his header wide.
Then, with virtually the last kick of the game, Johnson took a free kick from the left side that an unmarked Simeon Jackson rose to meet, but the Norwich City man put his header wide.
The result gives Canada four points one-third of the way through this stage of CONCACAF qualifying, where the Canadians have bowed out of contention the last three World Cup cycles. They resume qualification on Sept. 7, when they host Panama at BMO Field.