Canada falls to Honduras in rain-soaked Nations League clash
Canada's men's soccer team succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Honduras in a Nations League encounter that was blighted by relentless rainfall and a waterlogged pitch at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula on Monday.
Substitute Jonathan David halved the deficit with a slick finish in the 86th minute, but Canada couldn't find a late equalizer.
Canada finished the contest with 10 men as Alistair Johnston was sent off in the waning seconds after being shown a second yellow card by referee Mario Escobar. A small fracas ensued after the incident, and then again at the final whistle as Honduras leapfrogged Canada for first place in Group C of the CONCACAF Nations League's top division.
The Nations League serves as the qualification tournament for the 2023 Gold Cup. It will resume in March of next year.
Canada opened its Nations League campaign with a 4-0 win over Curacao last week.
Both sides were hampered by the difficult conditions Monday. Several players, exasperated as various puddles on the pitch either slowed down passes or made it nearly impossible to carry the ball, flung their arms into the air in visible frustration throughout the 90 minutes.
Canada's evening was summed up in the 63rd minute when Alphonso Davies stood over a free-kick from just outside the penalty area. What looked like a menacing opportunity fizzled out as the Bayern Munich superstar slipped on his attempted shot.
The defeat caps an enigmatic window for Canada. Aside from Davies' return following his bout with myocarditis, the international break didn't yield the type of positive World Cup preparation that Herdman was hoping for.
Canada first had a controversial friendly against Iran canceled. Then, the players refused to take part in the rescheduled match - against Panama - amid an ongoing compensation dispute with Canada Soccer. A straightforward win against a clearly overmatched Curacao team followed before Monday's rain-soaked adventure in Honduras.
Canada, which is expected to schedule two final World Cup warmup games during the next international window in September, opens its tournament in Qatar against Belgium on Nov. 23.
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