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Canada in Good, Not Great, Position After Draw with El Salvador

Looking back Canada will have wanted more from tonight's match, but it puts them in a good position nonetheless.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

A point tonight in El Salvador won't sink the Canadian World Cup Qualifying ship, but it could in the future. Getting a point in Central America is never easy, and therefore a 0-0 draw against El Salvador isn't the end of the world.

However, if Canada want to get to the next round of World Cup qualifying, they can't take this as a full-blown success. While four points from the first two matches sounds good, it sounded just as good during the last set of World Cup qualifying.

Realistically they should have done better tonight, even despite the difficult conditions that they will always be forced to play in when they visit Central America. They played an El Salvadorian B team, after all, and didn't even have to play in the heat of day.

El Salvador have been a tricky team for Canada lately, the kind of team who they are able to keep from scoring but can't seem to break down offensively. Their last meeting at the Gold Cup this summer also ended in a scoreless draw. It turned out to be a bad omen.

Once again, it was Cyle Larin had the best chances to score for the Canadian team. In the first half he hit the crossbar on the header, which turned out to be Canada's best chance of the match. He had another chance late in the game, but hit the outside of the net.

The match also happened to be Julian De Guzman's 85th match with the Canadian national team. This breaks the record for most games wearing the red and white, previously held by Paul Stalteri.

As he always does, he played his heart out tonight, and was crucial in making sure Canada earned a point. He has certainly done his fair share to get Canada off to their strong start in this year's qualifiers.

Canada's best player tonight, however, was Milan Borjan which is a good sign for the team as he is crucial to stealing future points on the road. Borjan robbed El Salvador on two strong chances after keeping Honduras at bay late in Friday's match.

The extent to which Borjan was required means that this could have easily been worse for Canada and picked at old wounds. Instead, it was their most composed and controlled World Cup qualifying performance for Canada in several years.

Last World Cup qualifying campaign the team lost both games in Central America by a combined score of 10-1. No this wasn't Panama, this wasn't Honduras, but this was a sign that embarrassment away from home is incredibly unlikely to happen for Canada under Benito Floro.

The way the team played tonight and on Friday, getting a point against Honduras on the road is not out of the question.

But that is getting ahead of things, Canada will still have plenty of work to do when they resume in March with a pair of matches against Mexico. This will be the real test of the character of this team.

Until then Canada have put themselves in a good, not great spot after their first two games of round four CONCACAF qualifiers. With four points they are in second place ahead of El Salvador (1 point) and Honduras (0 points).

Canada can be proud of what they accomplished in the first two games of World Cup qualifying, but they cannot be satisfied. There is a long road ahead to Russia, and four points on their own won't get them very far.