Canada (pictured) trains at the Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador on November 16, 2015, a day before its World Cup qualifier against host El Salvador. (Photo courtesy of Canada Soccer)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- After picking up a 1-0 win over Honduras under the roof of Vancouver’s BC Place last week, Canada is expecting different conditions when it faces host El Salvador on Tuesday at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
Even though the temperature should be a comfortable 72˚ F (22˚ C) at kick-off time of the fourth-round World Cup qualifier, the 90% humidity will make for a stickier situation.
“The conditions are always a factor in these types of environments,” said Canada captain Julian de Guzman, who would be making a Canadian record 85th international appearance if he sees the field on Tuesday. “One thing [head coach Benito Floro] told us is that it’s all in the head. It’s hot for us, but it’s just as hot for them, so it comes down to our football and being clever in these types of conditions.”
Earning points at home is vital in WCQ and El Salvador will be targeting all three after dropping a 3-0 decision at Mexico on Friday to open Group A play. There’s nothing Canada would like more than to help its own cause by taking at least a point on the road.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys that are coming down for the first time and feel confident to be able to perform in an environment like this and really enjoy the experience versus being really intimidated by it,” said midfielder Will Johnson. “So I think that’s where we are. We’re confident. We know this is a huge opportunity.”
In their last meeting, which took place at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Canada and El Salvador generated a combined total of 17 shots, but no goals.
The sides have squared off four times in San Salvador for WCQ, with the Canadians holding a 2-1 advantage in wins.