MEXICO CITY—Canada’s hopes of moving on in 2018 World Cup qualifying could very well depend on a game in Honduras. Again.
After Tuesday’s games, which included Canada's 2-0 loss to Mexico, Les Rouges are tied with Honduras on four points, with Honduras holding a superior goal difference. With at game at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano up first in September, much could rely on that result heading into the final game of this round.
“It’s just regrouping and we’re going to go into Honduras and it’s going to be an endgame again,” said midfielder Nik Ledgerwood. “That’s what we had four years ago so we have to make sure that we’re prepared well enough so that when we’re in Honduras we can take points.”
It’s hard to forget that October day in 2012 when Canada needed just a draw to reach "The Hex" but were thumped 8-1.
But with two losses against Mexico this month, Canada has fallen back down to earth after that promising start with a win and a draw last year.
Points were always going to be hard to come by, with Mexico being so heavily favored, and many expected it to all come down to September’s games. But Canada will take some consolation from an improved performance at the Azteca compared to a few days ago in Vancouver.
They were more organized in the second half and frustrated the home side, keeping them off the scoreboard after the break.
“It was a much better performance in the second half,” said captain Julian de Guzman. “That’s something to work off of going into Honduras.”
“It’s not easy to build a positive vibe going into a game like this but there’s a lot of positives from the games against Mexico. Mexico is a world class team.”
It’s a result that has hung around the neck of the Canadian program for the last four years and it’s perhaps fitting that things could all come down to what happens in San Pedro Sula.
With five months of buildup for that game with just a friendly with Azerbaijan in between, excitement will surely build to see whether four years of rebuilding could very well be on the line in the same place it all came crashing down.