Honduras 8-1 Canada

Game in a sentence

Needing only a draw to progress to the next round of World Cup qualifying, Canada were second-best to an energized Honduras team from the very start and what followed was one of the most disheartening losses in Canadian football history—a 8-1 defeat that disgraced the country’s men’s program and will almost certainly cost Stephen Hart his job as manager.

 

Observations

  • From the opening whistle Canada appeared dispassionate, ill-prepared and in over their heads and trailed after only six minutes when captain Kevin McKenna failed to deal with a routine cross into the box, allowing Jerry Bengston to pounce on the ball and score his third goal of the campaign. At halftime McKenna told Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet that “right from the get-go we weren’t in the game.” It showed, and the reasons as to why they weren’t will no doubt be the subject of much discussion over the next few days.
  • Their opponent might not have been up for it, but take nothing away from Honduras. The hosts lived up to the carnival atmosphere and got meaningful performances from their best players. Estadio Olimpico was in full voice as the home supporters sang Tu bandera es un lampo de cielo, and when the anthems were finished and the first ball was kicked Honduras went about dismantling their guests with impressive vigour.
  • Canada’s only real goalscoring chances came early and, not surprisingly, were squandered. Toisant Ricketts should have put the ball in the back of the net after just two minutes following Nik Ledgerwood’s cross from the edge of the box but was let down by dreadful control. And only five minutes after Bengston’s opener Ricketts once again found himself in scoring position after Julian De Guzman’s drive from distance hit the post, but he could only bundle the ball into the grasp of Honduras goalkeeper Donis Escober.
  • Lack of finishing, along with inadequate measures of passion, concentration and preparedness, has long been a hallmark of Stephen Hart’s Canada, and on Tuesday you just knew after Bengston got his second in the 17th minute that there would be no way back for the Reds. This, after all, is a side that was kept scoreless in back-to-back games last autumn against Puerto Rico and Saint Kitts and Nevis. They were never going to score twice in San Pedro Sula, especially considering a record in Central America that has seen them win just once since 1996.
  • Honduras doubled their lead before the break through Carlos Costly and the brilliant Mario Martinez, who nutmegged Andrew Hainault before sliding the ball past a helpless Lars Hirschfeld, who was so often hung out to dry over the 90 minutes. By the halftime whistle the home support were giddily cheering every Honduran pass as the Canadians scampered about the pitch without an idea in their heads.
  • Honduras picked up right where they left off after the restart, with Costly scoring his second of the night from a searching Martinez header that should have been dealt with by the Canadian defense. The hosts then went 13 minutes without a goal until Martinez bagged his second—a delightful, arching, left-footed effort from 22 yards that was easily the most impressive of the home side’s eight goals.
  • Simeon Jackson was withdrawn midway through the second half in favour of Lucas Cavallini, who plays his club football in Uruguay. Jackson, it must be said, was once again profoundly disappointing and has now gone more than a year without a goal for Canada—his last three coming against Saint Lucia last October. Perhaps Hart never found a way to use him, but then again the national side has never been much of an attacking threat since Hart’s appointment in 2009.
  • Honduras swapped goalkeepers just for chuckles in the 74th minute, and two minutes later Iain Hume produced the only moment of Canadian quality on the night when he curled a free-kick around the wall and just inside the far post from 24 yards. Bengston and Costly completed their hat-tricks to round out the scoring in the final seven minutes.
  • Canada was always going to be up against it in San Pedro Sula, what with the injury to all-time leading goalscorer Dwayne De Rosario, Olivier Occean’s suspension and a virus that knocked Ante Jazic out of the match and also infected McKenna. But the performance (if you can call it that) given by the players was nothing short of shameful—a national disgrace—and changes are no doubt required among both the coaching staff and playing roster moving forward. There is no blaming officials or CONCACAF as a whole for what happened on Tuesday.
  • This result is an examination of the Canadian Soccer Association’s vision and decisiveness in implementing that vision. If he does not resign of his own accord, the CSA must move to sack Hart at the first opportunity (as in tomorrow) and begin a wide-reaching, creative search for a new manager. Nick Dasovic and Tony Fonseca are good company men, but neither is the answer. Canada’s best choice as manager does not currently work for the CSA. It may take some new thinking for them to realize that. The 2013 Gold Cup will be a good opportunity to test the sort of renewal that must take place in the coming months.

Three Stars

Mario Martinez

Gerry Bengston

Oscar Garcia

 

Follow Jerrad Peters on Twitter @peterssoccer

Comments (18)

  1. “Defenders” looked like they couldn’t be bothered to run and the midfield was so sloppy it would have been comedic if not so painful to watch.

  2. It was actually Jackson that hit the post.

  3. I have wondered for a while if Hart was the guy going forward, and clearly he isn’t. But having said that, I feel he’s partially been out of his depth and partially lacking quality players, so I sort of hope he goes back to his old job as technical director, which remains empty no?

  4. At long last…another real footballer in LUCAS CAVALLINIIIIIIIIIIIII. You can tell he would’ve been able to compete in this game and play a significant part.

    Ricketts sucks. Jackson sucks. Even though Hume isn’t that good either, I’m truly happy for him =) The rest of the team can go fck themselves including de guzman. How the hell he played in La Liga I’ll never know.

    He, Hutchinson and the goalkeeper seemed to be the only ones that could be classified as “footballers”.

    Will Johnson sucks so bad. Honestly, he shouldn’t be starting. HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO PASS A FOOTBALL.

  5. Honestly…Hart should’ve just gone in there and played 4 defenders with 2 extra full backs/defenders, no strikers and all midfielders with Atiba or Cavallini up top.

    We should’ve parked the biggest fcking bus Concacaf has ever seen. Honduras wouldn’t have been able to do shit.

  6. The national team program is a disgrace to the nation, on par to the 1976 Montreal Olympics. How is it that the sport that is most popular for ages 12-24 can only produce this much talent (If that is what it can be called after today’s performance). The Canadian FA needs to dip into the talent I know is out there.

    I can be a scout for the the junior programs, got at least 4-6 quality players across the street. Provide incentives for young players to want to play for Canada. We could have watched Canada at the world cup in PRIME-TIME.

    I have lost complete faith in this team. Last time I bring my Canada jersey out of the closet.

    • A massive part of that development problem is the lack of a league.

      • Lack of a league?? The MLS seems to be helping the Americans, & countries like Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, & to a certain extent Guatamala. What Canada needs is a overhaul like what happened to the USSF, & bring a coach who places a emphasis on youth development and retaining, & searching for talent like Jurgen Klinsmann does for the yanks.

  7. Don’t worry guys I’m working on a new formation that’s gonna revolutionize the Canadian game. It goes a little something like this…

    ————————
    i i
    i 5 — 1 –5 i
    ________________________ i i_____________________________
    ! ! ! !
    ! !___________! !
    ! !
    ! !
    !________________________________ !

    Just make a giant human barrier inside either post using 5 players each – defenders or attackers, it’s all the same when your smushed on top of each other in an enormous flesh pile – and allow the keeper to defend the middle area. Try and get past us now you tricky latin americans!!

  8. The Guatemalan announcer on my stream suspected match-fixing. Scoreline certainly raises the eyebrows.

  9. wow, i didn’t see the game, but how the f*ck do you lose 8-1 to Honduras?!?!?!? thank God we didn’t reach the world cup, we would of made the El Salvador team from 1982 look like Brazil 1970!!

  10. Don’t recall seeing de Guzman’s shot hit the post with Ricketts wasting the rebound. Do recall seeing Jackson do that with Ricketts wasting the rebound.

  11. JP one of your finest pieces. ” a national disgrace” indeed. Yet tomorrows headlines will be the breakthrough in NHL talks. The CSA is administered by too many exec’s on fat salaries with little or no vision for soccer in Canada. Hart to go yes, but changing deckchairs…etc.
    I challenge Devos and Forrest to step up to the plate. and put down the microphone and sort this shit out!!

  12. “Perhaps Hart never found a way to use him, but then again the national side has never been much of an attacking threat since Hart’s appointment in 2009.”

    Really? How long have you been watching Canada play games? You seem to place the complete blame on the current coach for the lack of technical skill and finishing. Here, I will fix the statement for you.

    “but then again the national side has never been much of an attacking threat since forever”.

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