By Vijay Setlur
TORONTO - Canada failed to convert several chances and settled for a 0-0 draw with Honduras on Tuesday that moved the North Americans into second place in Group C of the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
Kevin McKenna and Simeon Jackson each had chances late from inside the penalty area but were unable to capitalize, leaving Canada two points behind Panama after two matches. Honduras was left with one point, ahead of only Cuba. Two teams will advance from the group.
Canada controlled possession from the start against a tentative Honduras and dominated much of the midfield.
"I'm not happy with the point," Canada manager Stephen Hart said. "I thought we moved the ball well. We passed the ball well, we got into good situations and at times the final pass was just missing and some quality on the finish. Funnily enough, we created the better chances but unfortunately we didn't score."
Los Catrachos have won three of the last four meetings against Canada going back to 2008, including two World Cup qualifiers and a 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal. Canada last beat Honduras in a friendly in Montreal on September 7, 2010.
Despite holding the advantage in possession and chances, Canada wasted repeated opportunites, eliciting groans from the crowd of 16,132 at BMO Field.
Canada had two promising chances in three minutes midway through the first half. Dwayne De Rosario dribbled in from the left flank, turned inside and sent a drive over the Honduran goal in the 29th minute.
Atiba Hutchinson had a free kick moments later at the top of the penalty area after being fouled by Victor Bernardez, but sent his chance kick over the goal.
Honduras' only solid chances came in the 40th minute when an onrushing Antony Lozano received a cross from Oscar Garcia, but sent it wide.
"Los Catrachos" saw the return striker David Suazo, who was injured May 26 in a friendly versus New Zealand. Suazo entered in the second half for Lozano, but failed to spark an attack that sputtered all evening from errant passes and a lack of creativity.
"I believe we can qualify with this team," Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suarez said. "I will take a decision in a couple of months the team is just going to start from scratch. I'm going to assess the new team and then take a position."
Roger Espinoza nearly gave Honduras the lead but sent a drive just over the crossbar. Then in injury time Will Johnson set up McKenna and Jackson with corner kicks. McKenna headed his over the cross bar and Jackson headed wide.
The two teams will resume qualifying September 7, when Canada hosts Panama in Toronto, and Honduras returns home to face Cuba.