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Canada and Honduras drew 1-1 in the first match of the Concacaf octagonal that will decide the three teams that will go directly to the Qatar 2022 World Cup and which was played this Thursday at the BMO stadium in Toronto.
Next up, a match against the USA on Sunday night 🗓 pic.twitter.com/AHepF6DjGa
— CanPL (@CPLsoccer) September 3, 2021
The match was decided from the penalty spot. The two goals that rose to the scoreboard were the result of two maximum penalties awarded by the referee of the match, the Mexican Fernando Guerrero Ramírez.
Canada, who played at home in front of 14,822 spectators, had to work hard to avoid defeat and was only able to recover in the second half after conceding a goal a few minutes before half-time.
Canada and Honduras each pick up a single point in their first match of the final round of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying.
15,000 fans in Toronto took in a hard-fought, difficult match for both sides.
– Ben Steiner (@ BenSteiner00) September 3, 2021
The scoring was opened in the 40th minute of the first half by Honduran midfielder Alexánder López when he took the penalty that Andy Najar suffered after a tackle by Canadian Tajon Buchanan when the Honduran defender left for Canada’s goal.
López placed the ball low and to the corner of the goal saved by the veteran Milan Borjan, who despite his stretched out to the right side, could do nothing to prevent Honduras’s goal from going up to the scoreboard.
But López’s joy was short-lived. The player from Tegucigalpa, and who currently plays in the Alajuelense Sports League of Costa Rica, was injured at the time of taking the penalty and had to be replaced by Romell Quioto before the 45-minute regulation game ended.
After the break, Canada came out of the locker room determined to score. The North American team controlled the ball for longer and in the 64th minute, a tackle from the left wing ended with Junior Hoilett, who in the 46th minute had replaced Buchanan, on the ground in the middle of the Honduran area.
Guerrero Ramírez did not hesitate and decreed that the entry of the Honduran defender Maynor Figueroa had been a penalty.
The maximum penalty was executed by Cyle Larin, through the center and halfway up the goal of Luis López. But Larin fooled Lopez, who threw himself to protect the left post, and scored the tying goal for Canada.
The two teams still had opportunities to break the tie. One of the clearest was Brayan Moya’s powerful header from Najar’s pass that was repelled by the left post when Borjan had already been overtaken.
But ultimately, neither team was able to break the tie and the points were shared.
Now Canada will face the United States on September 5 in Nashville (USA) and Honduras will do the same against El Salvador. In October, Canada will play Mexico, Jamaica and Panama.
The top three teams of the octagonal Concacaf tournament, made up of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica, will qualify directly for the Qatar World Cup 2022. The fourth team will still have one more chance to reach the world championship in a repechage elimination.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.