Auger-Aliassime bumps slump to beat qualifier at Barcelona Open
Canada maintained its undefeated record and took a step closer to Qatar 2022 with a 2-0 triumph over Honduras in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying play Thursday.
The victory kept Canada (5-0-4, 19 points) atop the eight-team qualifying standings although the second-place U.S. (5-1-3, 18 points) and third-place Mexico (5-2-2, 17 points) kept pace with victories of their own.
The Canadian men went ahead in the 10th minute on a Honduran own goal, looked comfortable through the first half and managed to hold off the Hondurans in the second half as the home side showed more on offence.
The Canadians took control again, with a huge save by Milan Borjan midway through the second half followed by a Jonathan David goal that kept Canada on the winning track.
Borjan made another remarkable save in second-half stoppage time, pushing away an Alberth Elis Honduran header.
Other matches Thursday saw the 11th-ranked U.S. defeat No. 70 El Salvador 1-0 in Columbus and No. 14 Mexico beat No. 57 Jamaica 2-1 in Kingston. No. 63 Panama lost to No. 49 Costa Rica.
The 40th-ranked Canadians now return home to face the Americans in a top-of-the-table tilt Sunday at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field before making the 3,400-kilometre trip to San Salvador to face El Salvador next Wednesday.
It’s back to the drawing board for No. 76 Honduras (0-6-3).
Three games remain for Canada after this international window. Come March, the top three teams will represent North and Central America and the Caribbean at Qatar 2022 while the fourth-place side faces an Oceania country in an intercontinental playoff to see who joins them.
Canada and the other top sides are creating some separation in the standings. John Herdman’s team is on track to make it to soccer’s showcase for the first time since 1986, its only visit to the men’s World Cup.