Canada have a chance to take a step closer to the “Hex” with a positive result this Friday night on the Road to Russia when they face rivals Honduras on Match Day 5 of the CONCACAF semi-final stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers.
Canada will face Honduras away on Friday 2 September and then El Salvador at home on Tuesday 6 September. The home match will be played at BC Place in Vancouver, with tickets available atwww.canadasoccer.com/tickets. Both matches will be broadcast on TSN and RDS2, with the Friday match kicking off at 17.00 ET /14.00 PT (15.00 local) and the Tuesday match kicking off at 22.00 ET / 19.00 PT (19.00 local).
Canada and Honduras are even on four points after four matches, so the Friday match is massively important for both sides. Between Canada, Honduras, and El Salvador (two points after four matches), only one of those nations will finish second in the group and join Mexico in the “Hex.”
“Our players know perfectly that the battle will be on the pitch,” said Benito Floro, Head Coach of Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team. “We can say that this will be a battle between 22 players and that the team that keeps their shape and tactical plan will have the best chance to win the match.”
Canada and Honduras have long been rivals in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Their last meeting in this semi-final round was a 1:0 win for Canada at Vancouver in front of a memorable crowd at BC Place in November 2015. With both nations tied on points, the 2 September match in San Pedro Sula will play a big part in the final group standings.
“If we get three points, it puts us in the driver’s seat,” said David Edgar. “It’s in our hands and that’s the best way to look at it.”
Since both nations’ last matches in March, Canada played a pair of international matches during the June window, posting a draw and a win in preparation for these September matches. Players have since competed with their clubs before rejoining Canada at the end of August for this opportunity to win a spot in the “Hex”.
Among this group of players in club action this season, several have returned “home” to clubs in Canada, including Edgar with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Marcel de Jong with Whitecaps FC (after a stint with Ottawa Fury FC), Nik Ledgerwood with FC Edmonton, Tosaint Ricketts with Toronto FC, and Jamar Dixon with Ottawa Fury FC.
Also since the spring, Atiba Hutchinson has won a Turkish Süper Lig with Beşiktaş JK to qualify for 2016-17 UEFA Champions League while Scott Arfield has won the England Championship with Burnley FC to earn promotion to the Premier League.
“Our players have demonstrated an excellent commitment along the way,” said Benito Floro, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “The players trust in their capacity to achieve a place in the Hex.”
SUPPORT #CANADARED, BE CANADA’S 12th MAN
After an away match in Honduras on 2 September, Canada will return home to face El Salvador in a critical match on 6 Septemberat BC Place in Vancouver. Canada will need the support of the 12th man at home to help build a sea of #CanadaRED supporters, tickets to the match start as low as $25 (plus applicable fees). In addition, a special ‘Me+3’ offer will be available for this match. When purchasing three full price tickets in select sections, fans will receive the fourth one free. This offer is available via Ticketmaster.ca by selecting the ‘Me+3’ offer.
Group discounts are available with groups of 10 or more eligible to receive discounts of up to 30% off regularly priced sections. To request group tickets, complete the group order form indicating the price point and quantity of tickets you are wishing to purchase. Please note that group tickets will be processed on a first come, first served basis. For complete information visit the group ticket section on CanadaSoccer.com/Tickets.
BC Place Club Seats offer fans a premium match day experience featuring exclusive entrances, in-seat service, larger comfortable seats, exclusive club lounges with a full-service private bar and heightened food offerings, all from some of the best views in the venue. Fans purchasing club seats will receive a complimentary Canada Soccer scarf (retail value of $30) upon arrival to their seats on match day.
Canadian Supporters have been allocated a number of dedicated sections in the southwest end of BC Place. Fans wishing to sit in the Canadian supporter sections are encouraged to visit the Voyageurs website for more information and to purchase tickets through thevoyageurs.org. Please note that persistent standing will be permitted in these sections.
Visiting supporters will be located in the northeast corner of BC Place. Fans wishing to sit in these sections should select “El Salvador supporters” from the drop-down menu on the Ticketmaster event page.
Complete ticket information can be found atCanadaSoccer.com/Tickets.
ROAD TO THE 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is the biggest single-sport event in the world. From 211 member associations from around the world, 32 finalists will qualify for the 32-day event that is played in 11 cities from 14 June to 15 July 2018.
Canada are amongst the 11 remaining CONCACAF nations in the hunt for a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The remaining nations are split into three groups for the continent’s 2015-2016 semi-final stage. The top-two nations in each group will advance to the final “Hex” round in 2017, from which three nations qualify for Russia 2018 and the fourth team advances to an intercontinental playoff.