SOCCER – Barcelona striker Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in a 1-0 win against Paris St Germain in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final in Rotterdam. A Canadian Soccer Association spokesman said immediately after the game that president Victor Montagliani would not speak to the media until he had a chance to talk with Hart first. La Prensa , the local newspaper, printed a 12-page special on the game with a front-page cartoon of an anxious looking Canadian being tossed in a frying pan in the shape of the stadium while a Honduran player looked on. Canada foundered at this very stadium four years ago, losing 3-1 in a game that eliminated it from advancing. “We drew Honduras in Canada. Martinez then made it 4-0 in the 32nd minute, poking the ball through a Canadian defender’s legs at the edge of the penalty area and then stroking a shot home to cap off an effortless attack that started deep in Honduras territory. In the stands, fans stood two or three deep in the aisles.
A handful of police stood along the sidelines, leaning on their riot shields prior to the match as the Canadians came out for their warmup. More than 400 police were expected at the stadium to marshall the 40,000-capacity stands and the San Pedro Sula police chief told both teams at a meeting Monday that spectators would not be allowed to bring weapons into the stadium. But the stadium announcer did his best to be heard above the din, yelling “Honduras, Honduras, Honduras” repeatedly in a bid to ramp up the din. The Canadians walked onto the pitch in tracksuits about 75 minutes before kickoff to chants of “Honduras, Honduras.” Several of the Canadians applauded the amped-up crowd. It was the worst start possible for Canada, forced on the back foot almost from the get go after Tosaint Ricketts was unable to get a foot on the ball from in front of goal just after the opening kickoff. Simeon Jackson almost tied it up minutes later, but his shot hit the post and goalie Donis Escobar saved the rebound chance from Ricketts. Substitute Iain Hume scored a consolation goal off a nice free kick in the 76th minute before Bengston restored the six-goal cushion six minutes later as the Canadian defence crumbled around him.
Bengston went through the middle. This qualifying round went fairly smoothly for Hart’s team. “Only three to four guys that would be on our team were on that club,” Burke said of the Spengler Cup roster. It may come as a surprise to you, but this shirt doesn’t actually have a place in the roster of teams that are taking part in the World Cup. Teams like England, Spain and Holland are ahead of us because they have been playing together for three or four years,’ he said. Teams will play a home-and-away schedule in the so-called “Hex” round, with the top three advancing to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the fourth-place side taking on the Oceania winner in a playoff to see who joins them. It has won three World Cups (only Brazil and Italy have more) and finished runner-up four times, along with four third place finishes including 2010. The team currently ranks second in the world, according to FIFA, behind only Spain.
OUTLOOK: It once again looks bleak for France, which has not won the Six Nations since 2010. France won it in style that year, world cup soccer jerseys averaging 27 points per game on the way to a Grand Slam and reached the Rugby World Cup final the following year. We should have won that game. If you want to go down the polo route, the Springboks also have a Media polo which they regularly use during press conferences and other media related events. But someone will likely have to pay for this disaster. His lightning-quick feet will be a huge threat for the defences ahead of him. McKenna disagreed, saying blame should not be laid at the coach’s feet. The Hondurans scored in the seventh minute as McKenna and then fellow centre back Andre Hainault failed to corral a high, awkward bouncing ball. Costly then scored on an 88th-minute header to complete the rout. Costly made it 3-0 in the 28th on a diving header after Bengston played provider, heading a cross back across goal that an outstretched Hirschfeld was unable to get to. Martinez’s shot was stopped by Lars Hirschfeld but Bengston was all alone to tap in the rebound.