What to watch: Canada resumes World Cup qualifiers vs. Honduras

·2 min read
Kamal Miller celebrates during the World Cup Qualifier match between Canada and Costa Rica. (Photo by Dale Macmillan/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Kamal Miller celebrates during the World Cup Qualifier match between Canada and Costa Rica. (Photo by Dale Macmillan/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Canada sits atop the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying final group standings through eight matches and will be looking to fortify its bid during an upcoming series of qualifiers against Honduras (Jan. 27), United States (Jan. 30) and El Salvador (Feb. 2).

Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s clash with Honduras.

Thursday, January 27 at 8:05 PM ET | Live stream on FuboTV

What a difference a decade makes.

During a World Cup qualifier in October 2012, Honduras handed Canada one of its most embarrassing losses in program history — an 8-1 defeat that was emblematic of a dreary era for the men’s national team. With a lot of hard work and an overhaul of the national team’s developmental program, the tables have certainly turned ahead of Thursday’s match.

Canada currently leads the CONCACAF final stage group, while Honduras sits dead last, with just three points through eight matches. No opponent should be taken lightly and the CONCACAF region is known for its volatility, but even with a hostile crowd awaiting them at the Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Hula, this ought to be a relatively easy contest for the Canadians.

There are some internal hurdles to be cleared. Alphonso Davies, who stars for Bayern Munich at left back, was recently diagnosed with myocarditis as a post-COVID complication and has subsequently been ruled out of the next three games. Davies has moonlighted as a forward for Canada, and though the team isn’t lacking for firepower up front, with Cyle Larin, Jonathan David and Tajon Buchanan posing real threats to the Honduran backline, it’s still less than ideal. Davies boasts world-class pace, crossing ability and anticipatory skills, which can’t be understated, especially against better competition like the United States.

There should be some Canadian content from Honduras, as it stands. Romell Quioto, who plays for CF Montreal, will be relied upon heavily to generate meaningful offence for his team. Quioto notched eight goals in 19 MLS games in 2021.

There is a gulf in talent between both sides, which Canada will certainly try to exploit. Honduras’s captain Maynor Figueroa (179 international caps) has seen it all throughout his career but he’s well past his prime, and Canada’s pacy, opportunistic forwards should have more than a few chances to walk away with a key road win.

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