When the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying groups were revealed, we all agreed that Canada’s mission was simple; to qualify for the Hex, the men’s national team didn’t have to finish ahead of Mexico — that would be unrealistic. It only needed to be better than Honduras and El Salvador.
Canadian national-team coach Benito Floro, said the same thing — that Mexico would be off in its own world, and it was basically a three-team race for second place.
So, after Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Mexico at Azteca, Canada now has four points from four of six games played. That’s the same point total as Honduras, and two up on El Salvador. Honduras holds a massive advantage in goal difference.
But this is all that matters: With games left against El Salvador (home) and Honduras (away), Canada still controls its own destiny. At the start of this group stage, we would have taken this scenario. Gladly. Two games left, and all to play for — with no games left against Mexico.
Honduras and El Salvador each have one game each left against the Mexicans. Worried that the Mexicans, who have already wrapped up top spot in Group A, will take it easy for those matches? Remember this: Mexico’s rivalries with their Central American neighbours are super-heated. They hate El Salvador. They hate Honduras. And nothing would give the Mexicans more pleasure than to finish the group a perfect 6-0-0 and end Honduras’s and El Salvador’s World Cup dreams in the process.
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