Honduras faces Canada hurdle, seeks return to Gold Cup quarterfinals
Honduras’ Ovidio Lanza (#16) looks to make a move against French Guiana in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 11, 2017, in Houston, Texas, USA. (Photo: AFP Services)

FRISCO, Texas -- Honduras has largely enjoyed the upper hand in its rivalry with Canada.

Few will forget the 8-1 win in 2012 that propelled Honduras into the final round of World Cup Qualifying.  And while Canada won 1-0 at home when they met in 2018 WCQ play, the Hondurans had the final say as hosted with a 2-1 win.

That match in San Pedro Sula all but ended Canada’s Russia 2018 hopes, while Honduras competes in the CONCACAF Hexagonal.

When they face off again Friday in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup’s last Group B match, none of the history will matter to the Honduran players.

“Every game is different, ever instance is different,” said defender Maynor Figueroa, who side sits third with three points thanks to a ruling that saw its scoreless draw with French Guiana flip to a 3-0 win after it was ruled the Caribbean power used an ineligible player.

A draw with first-place Canada (4 pts.) should be good enough to see Honduras progress.  The current Central American champion has dealt with the pressures of a World Cup, so it knows how to respond.

“Now we just get back down to work,” Figueroa remarked.  “It’s like a Cup final here and we have to go in with that mentality.”

Honduras is seeking to return to the quarterfinals after falling short two years ago for the first time since 2003.