Just one thing that wouldn't go in! (CREDIT: Canada Soccer)
|Kevin McKenna 24'
Dwayne de Rosario 28'
Olivier Occean 46'
|Maynor Figeuroa 20'
Mauricio Sabillion 29'
|13||Shots on Goal||7|
|3||Shots on Target||0|
It's not the result that most of us expected, but the chances were there...in the end, it was just bad finishing that kept the Canadian team to a love-all draw with a demoralized Honduran team, who were coming off a loss to Panama last week. It would've put the Canadians on an equal footing with the Panamanians (who beat Cuba 1-0 this evening) and put them one foot into the CONCACAF Hex.
The Canadians started off with a 4-5-1 formation, with Olivier Occean the sole striker at the front. However, this meant that he was left with trying to get past the towering Maynor Figeuroa -- an error from the get-go from coach Stephen Hart. This allowed the much larger Figeuroa to dominate and smother the smaller Occean, who had a number of chances to score but ultimately was stymied.
But Occean wasn't the only one with chances -- the rest of the midfield, including de Rosario, was able to create a number of chances. However, the Canadians will be ruing their lack of finishing (which at times bordered on TFC levels of hilarity). One point of contention was late in the first half, when Occean and de Rosario were on a 2-on-2 break up the field, but instead of passing it to an open Occean, DeRo skied the shot over the bar -- and in the process provided more fodder for his critics who claim he's too selfish.
Later in both halves, once Canada was able to wrest possession away from the Hondurans, they were able to attack. But again, finishing seemed to be a problem, with Figureoa being the biggest obstacle that the Canadians could not figure out.
On the other hand, Honduras came in very weakly -- even having played the likes of David Suazo and Carlo Costly, the Hondurans made very little of their chances, despite owning 55% of possession. Anthony Lozano was perhaps the biggest culprit fort the Central Americans, missing a number of chances that could easily have turned the game on its head.
In the end, Canada played well enough to claim all three points on offer but was not able to claim them due to a resilient Honduran defence, and a referee who was hell bent on not allowing the Canadians to play their physical style, and cracking down on every little thing. The finishing was perhaps the worst of it all, and when Panama or another heavy hitter rolls around, Canada could suffer the consequences if they play like this again.
But all isn't lost -- the next matchday will be in September, and with four points in the bag, the road to the CONCACAF hex is much clearer than it was a few days ago. It's not the six that was hoped along with burying the Hondurans deeper into their mire, but having that many points is an improvement from the previous attempt -- which should bode well as the players head back to their clubs.