Thursday, July 27, 2017

Canada 0 Honduras 0: Canadians reach Gold Cup quarter-finals

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Jul 2017

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Canada advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2009 following their goalless draw with Honduras.

The Canadians had exited at the group stage of the past three tournaments after they failed to progress as co-hosts in 2015, but that changed in Texas on Friday.

Canada move into the last eight as runners-up to Costa Rica – who eased past French Guyana 3-0 – in Group A.

Honduras came into the final Group A fixture with plenty to play for after they were awarded a 3-0 victory against French Guyana, who were penalised for fielding ineligible forward Florent Malouda in the scoreless stalemate.

That result moved Honduras to within a point of Canada before kick-off, though the Hondurans can still reach the knockout stage as one of the two best third-placed teams.

Canada’s 16-year-old sensation Alphonso Davies dropped out of the line-up after taking his tally to three goals in two games following the 1-1 draw with Costa Rica. Dejan Jakovic, Mark Kaye and Anthony Jackson-Hamel were also moved to the bench as Manjrekar James, Patrice Bernier, Marcel de Jong and Lucas Cavallini came in.

Honduras also made four changes to their starting XI. Carlos Sanchez, Jorge Claros, Carlos Discua and Felix Crisanto were included, while Ever Alvarado, Brayan Beckeles, Alexander Lopez and Bryan Acosta made way.

Canada’s pace was a threat from the outset as their attack continued to get in behind Honduras.

De Jong had the first real chance of the game but his powerful shot flashed just wide of the post in the ninth minute.

After seeing a shot of their own flash wide of the post, Honduras had an attempt cleared off the line by Michael Petrasso on the stroke of half-time.

As has been the case in some matches at the tournament, quality and decisiveness was all that was missing in the front third, especially in the second half.

Honduras looked more threating after the interval but the best opportunity fell to Canada substitute Jonathan Osorio.

Osorio – a replacement for Bernier – forced Luis Lopez into a fine save with 19 minutes remaining, his curling effort brining the best out of the Honduras keeper, who reacted quickly six minutes later to deny Steven Vitoria.

Honduras almost snatched victory in the final five minutes but Sergio Pena’s shot was blocked in front of goal, while Ovidio Lanza also came close.

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