There was no lopsided scoreline this time around, but Canada once again fell to Honduras and now need help to keep their 2018 World Cup dreams alive.
Canada took the initial lead but could not stop a Honduras comeback on Friday, losing, 2-1, in a crucial CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula. The Canadians jumped out in front in the 35th minute of the Group A affair, but surrendered an equalizer before halftime and a winner early in the second half.
Manjrekar James put Canada ahead with a strong header in the 35th minute to give his nation the advantage in the same place it suffered an 8-1 defeat in qualifying four years ago. The Hondurans rallied, however, as a Mario Martinez shot from distance skipped into the back of the net two minutes into first-half stoppage time before Romell Quioto tapped home the decisive tally six minutes after the break.
With the win, Honduras moved three points ahead of Canada in their group. The Canadians now need to win at home vs. El Salvador and hope that Mexico defeats Honduras on Tuesday in order to have a chance to move into CONCACAF's final round of qualifying.
- 35' – CAN – Manjrekar James (Scott Arfield)
- 45+2' – HON – Mario Martinez
- 51' – HON – Romell Quioto (Alberth Elis)
- Full Box Score
- WIDE PROBLEMS: Canada's inability to protect their lead stemmed from their inability to defend well on the flanks. Honduras had their way on the outside for much of the 90 minutes, and that is where the ball that led to Quioto's game-winning goal originated from. Things only got worse for the Canadians once Boniek Garcia came in the game, as he constantly put them under pressure with runs down the left side.
- ATTACKING WOES: Cyle Larin and Tesho Akindele were some of the attacking talents Canada had on the field, but you would not have guessed it judging from how poor les rouges played in the final third. Canada managed to take just one shot on target, which was James' headed goal, and was never all that threatening. The midfield bears responsibility for that after winning just north of 31 percent of the game's possession, but the entire team did a poor job of making plays with the ball in Honduras' half.
- SIMPLY OUTMATCHED: Canada may have gone ahead in the opening stanza, but they were clearly the inferior side in Friday's match. Honduras beat them in the possession battle by a wide margin from the onset, outshot the Canadians 20-9, and were much more dangerous in the final third. In fact, Canada could have lost by more if not for the alertness and steady play of goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
- HON (WCQs): Tuesday, 9/6 at Mexico (Estadio Azteca | 10 pm ET)
- CAN (WCQs): Tuesday, 9/6 vs. El Salvador (B.C. Place | 10 pm ET, TSN)