World Cup

Atiba Hutchinson praises CanMNT 'character' after Honduras win

Chris Smith
Canada are a rising power in international soccer.
Canada are a rising power in international soccer. / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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Canada Men's National Team captain Atiba Hutchinson has praised the 'character' of his teammates following their 2-0 win away in Honduras.

The Canucks had to ride some intense Honduras pressure, but a 73rd-minute breakaway goal from Jonathan David was enough to seal the win after a Denil Maldonado own-goal in the 10th minute had given Canada the lead.

Canada remain unbeaten in World Cup qualifying after nine matches, topping the group ahead of the United States and Mexico. It's not always been pretty, but John Herdman's side are have coupled their emerging talent with an incredible desire to do what it takes to get a result.

“We wanted to come out here and put out a big performance, we knew the start of the game would be tough for us, that they would come at us, put a lot of pressure on us and we just wanted to make sure we were ready for the fight from the start, withstand their pressure and at some point we’d be able to play our game and that’s exactly what we did,” Hutchinson said after the victory, earned despite the absences of Alphonso Davies and Stephan Eustaquio.

“We showed real character today, everybody fighting for each other, like we always do to get a result here and it’s a special one because it’s been a long time waiting for us to come out here and do something big and we all did it today as a team, collectively.”

Herdman was pleased with what he saw from his players, highlighting how Canada enacted the pre-match plan of shutting down the Honduran attack and doing the damage on the counter-attack.

“We came in here to grind the result out and I thought that’s what the players did. We knew we had the quality in transition and we knew if we could manage the front three, which is a good front three in CONCACAF, we’d be ok,” Herdman said after the win.

“Milan came up big in some moments and I think we could’ve had them put to bed a little earlier with some of the transitional play, but all in all, three points, top of the group, still undefeated and we move on to the next game.”

As Herdman said, attention now turns to Sunday's crucial clash with the USMNT in Hamilton, Ontario. A win for either would effectively seal their place at Qatar 2022.

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