Canada and Honduras battle to draw to open WCQ
TORONTO, CANADA.- Canada and Honduras started the final round of Concacaf World Cup qualification for Qatar 2022 with a point a piece as each squad notched a penalty kick in a 1-1 draw in Toronto on Thursday night.
Alex Lopez opened the scoring from the spot in the 40th minute, putting his penalty to the right of Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Referee Fernando Guerrero pointed to the spot just before when Canada winger Tajon Buchanan came into the box and fouled Honduras right back Andy Najar.
Najar had a busy day in his first start for Honduras since 2017, both working to defend Canada star Alphonso Davies and getting into the attack to start potential scoring moves.
In the 66th minute, the hosts were back level. Cyle Larin scored a penalty of his own to send the fans at BMO Field into celebration. Larin, whose eight goals tie him as the leading scorer thus far in Concacaf WCQ, sent his shot right down the middle past a diving Luis “Buba” Lopez.
The penalty came when Honduras center back Maynor Figueroa was whistled for lunging in and staying late on a tackle against Davies.
In the 74th minute, Borjan made a lunging save to keep things level, diving to his right to nudge a header by Brayan Moya onto the post and out of his net.
While both teams looked to get a late goal that would give them all three points, neither back line was willing to yield and the teams had to settle for the stalemate. Canada now travels to face the United States, while Honduras has a road tilt with El Salvador.