HOUSTON – It has been some time since both Canada and Honduras advanced together to the knockout rounds of a CONCACAF Gold Cup.
In fact, it hasn’t happened since 2009, when they – coincidentally – squared off against each other in the quarterfinals, with the Hondurans earning a narrow 1-0 win on Walter Martinez’s 36th-minute penalty kick.
The sides are slated to meet again in the Gold Cup on Friday night in the last Group A match. First-place Canada (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) will advance with a win or a draw, while third-place Honduras will progress with a victory. Anything less and the Catrachos may have to rely on other results and tiebreakers.
Canada is in line to win two games in the first round for only the third time in 13 total Gold Cup appearances, while Honduras is looking to avoid a second straight elimination after the group stage.
Here are some storylines to watch:
- Canada’s Alphonso Davies is the 2017 Gold Cup’s joint-top scorer with Kevin Parsemain on three goals each. He left Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Costa Rica in the 70th minute, appearing to have a foot injury. If he plays, will the 16-year-old’s effectiveness be impacted at all?
- Canada has conceded at least one goal in each of its first two 2017 Gold Cup games. Is this the game it registers a clean sheet? Honduras scored one goal or fewer in nine consecutive Gold Cup outings.
- Forgetting the fact that it was awarded three goals for what ended up being a 3-0 victory forfeit over French Guiana (actual score was 0-0), Honduras has been shutout in three straight Gold Cup matches. Can that streak be snapped?
- What will it take for Honduras to put it all together and ignite a sustained run of head-turning results? Let’s see what head coach Jorge Luis Pinto has up his sleeve.