Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Honduras wasn't the result the Canadian national soccer team was hoping for in their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, but it's still reasonably positive. Sure, it would have been nice to build off the success of their stage-opening victory in Cuba last week with another win to carry some momentum forward into the forthcoming two-month break, especially in a game played at home before an impressive crowd of 16,132 at Toronto's BMO Field, a crowd that was largely pro-Canadian. That didn't happen, but a draw with a higher-ranked team like Honduras and one that made the last World Cup still carries many positive takeaways.
The match didn't have a large number of scoring chances, but both sides created a few here and there. For Honduras, the best was Antony Lozano's shocking 40th-minute miss from in close. The Canadians had plenty of opportunities of their own, including two spectacular ones from defender David Edgar and a late 90th-minute corner that captain Kevin McKenna headed just wide. They also generally put in a dogged defensive effort, and they'll probably be a little disappointed not to take three points at home in front of a largely friendly crowd. A draw with a talented side like Honduras is nothing to sneeze at, however.
[Photo Gallery: Canada and Honduras battle to 0-0 draw]
Honduras qualified for the 2010 World Cup, of course, something that Canada hasn't done since 1986, and they even managed to steal a point there from Switzerland. They also claimed the Copa Centroamericana in 2011, beating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final, and they made it to the semifinals of the 2011 Gold Cup. Moreover, they're ranked 55th in the world (tied for fourth in CONCACAF), while Canada is 79th in the world and ninth in CONCACAF. Rankings aren't everything, but that's a notable difference, and one that should make the Canadians feel better about Tuesday's result.
Following this, Canada has two months off from World Cup qualifying. For the moment, they're on top of Group C with four points; Honduras has one and Panama and Cuba (which play tomorrow) have three and no points respectively. Two sides advance to the final CONCACAF six-team stage, so the Canadians are in a reasonably strong position. They still have two matches against the tough Panama team (ranked 46th in the world, third in CONCACAF), though, and they'll have a difficult away game in Honduras, so nothing's assured. Still, this isn't a bad start for the Canadians, and it's one that will keep the dreams of qualifying for their first World Cup since 1986 alive for the moment. We'll see if they can build on this when their qualifying campaign resumes with a home match against Panama on September 7.