Canada's World Cup finals hopes ended by Honduras in 8-1 defeat
By Simon Evans ,Reuters
October 18, 2012, 12:06 am TWN
Canada's hopes of reaching the 2014 World Cup finals ended in abject humiliation on Tuesday after they were destroyed 8-1 by Honduras while the United States, Jamaica and Costa Rica progressed to the next round.
Six nations will compete next year for three automatic spots at the finals, with Mexico, who had already booked their place, also joined by Honduras and Panama after Tuesday's games.
Guatemala, who lost 3-1 to the United States, and El Salvador, who fell 2-0 in Mexico, were eliminated but it was the Canadians who suffered the most in the final round of games.
Victory in Honduras would have secured a place in the final qualifying round for Stephen Hart's Canadian side but instead they headed home after one of the darkest night's in their soccer history.
Canada, who last appeared at the World Cup finals in 1986, were 4-0 down by the 32nd minute and the final score was almost as bad as their 8-0 loss to Mexico in 1993.
Honduran strikers Jerry Bengston and Carlos Costly each claimed hat-tricks in the rout in San Pedro Sula.
"You are supposed to go down all guns blazing. We were horrible," Hart, whose job is now in doubt, told reporters.
Bengston opened the scoring in the seventh minute after racing on to a Costly header, and doubled the lead with a tap-in after Canada keeper Lars Hirschfeld had parried a Mario Martinez effort.
Bengston then returned the favor to Costly, heading into his path for a close-range diving header in the 28th minute as the home side ran amok.
Martinez put the result beyond doubt just before halftime and it took only three minutes from the restart for the home side to reach 5-0 with Costly converting from a Martinez cross.
After another from Martinez, Iain Hume's goal for Canada from a free-kick in the 76th minute could hardly be considered "consolation" given the circumstances.
Bengston and Costly rounded off a remarkable night for Honduras, who reached the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, by completing their hat-tricks in the final 10 minutes.
U.S. forward Clint Dempsey #8 tries a header against Guatemala goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez Jr. #1 as Guatemala defender Jonathan Lopez #23 watches during the second half of a World ...