Canada kicked off their 2022 World Cup qualifiers with a 1-1 draw with Honduras in front of 14,822 spectators at BMO Field in Toronto on Thursday evening.
It was Canada’s first home game since October 2019 and the tension spread, but we were far from Canada’s 8-1 loss to Honduras in 2012, during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
After a difficult first half punctuated by a penalty kick for Honduras, Canada exploded and completely dominated the second half as Central America struggled to protect their skinny lead.
Canadian pressure finally paid off when Minor Figueroa ousted Junior Howlett in the middle of the Honduran region.
Confidently, Kyle Larrain hit his shot straight through the middle of the net to convert the penalty shot and equalized in the 66th minute. The Canadians had many other chances, but they were inaccurate.
Honduras is still very close to its second goal when Brian Moya hit the post in the 74th minute, a ball that goalkeeper Milan Burgan sponsored to prevent him from entering his goal.
Canada can take inspiration from this second half by preparing for its fast-coming second game as it takes place on Sunday night.
It will be another very big test against the United States, the second best team in CONCACAF with 10th place in the FIFA World Ranking.
The game will be played at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, in front of a large crowd that will certainly be hostile.
John Herdman and his men certainly won’t want to return to BMO Field against El Salvador on Wednesday with a negative record.
For some reason, John Herdman made a tactical change after about twenty minutes by reversing Davis and Tajon Buchanan.
In addition to shutting out Davis for the remainder of the first half, the move hampered a defense that had been doing well so far.
The Canadians began to overwhelm the more organized and calm Honduras, and the inevitable happened when Buchanan blocked and defeated Andy Carpenter near Milan Burgan.
Alexandre Lopez converted the penalty kick to open the scoring in the 40th minute. Unusually, Lopez was injured while shooting his shot and went off on a stretcher, allowing Rommel Koyoto of CF Montreal to enter the match.
After that unfortunate streak, Herdman pulled Davis to the left and the effect was immediate as Canada finished the run with confidence. Davis was brilliant in the second half.
Canada, carried by the crowd at BMO Field, wasn’t a very good start to a match played at a very high intensity.
It was exciting at times, but the first keys were heavy and inaccurate.
Moreover, this fever led to a tactical turmoil that was highlighted, as mentioned, by flip-flopping Davis and Buchanan.
Add to that some choppy performances by Atiba Hutchinson and Kyle Larrain, which undermined the Canadian game in the first 45 minutes. But, by the way, defender Alistair Johnston was excellent throughout the match.
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