CanMNT

John Herdman blasts Honduras pitch after Canada loss

Chris Smith
Herdman was far from impressed with Honduras' pitch.
Herdman was far from impressed with Honduras' pitch. / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

There are few environments in world soccer quite as unique as Concacaf, and that's not always a good thing.

While this particular region can generate some of the most entertaining and breathless games you're likely to see, there are a number of nations that lag behind when it comes to facilities, while unpredictable weather can cause all sorts of problems.

The Canadian Men's National Team's 2-1 defeat away to Honduras in the Concacaf Nations League on Monday night was one such example, with torrential rain in San Pedro Sula turning the Olimpico Metropolitano pitch into a swimming pool.

Passing moves broke down and dribbling became almost impossible. That's not ideal when you have some of the region's best talent in Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David on the field. Canada just couldn't find their rhythm and not only lost, but also suffered red cards to Alistair Johnston and Raheem Edwards in the dying minutes.

Head coach John Herdman was less than impressed at the conditions his players had to deal with, which will be a far cry from those they'll play in at the World Cup later this year.

“It was like trying to put a Formula 1 car on an off-roading track," said Herdman. “That's what it felt like every time we looked to play in certain areas that we could get our best players moving, we'd either hold up or slide off the pitch.

“I just couldn’t believe that you’re going onto the pitch with $80m players and they are playing in puddles.”

While Herdman lamented the conditions, he did shoulder some of the responsibility himself.

Waterlogged pitches are a thing of the past in most parts of the professional world and should be in all parts. But with several world-class players at his disposal and both teams ultimately having to face the same adversity, Herdman concedes he could have made some tweaks to give his side a better chance.

"Tactically, could we have been more direct when we got here seeing the conditions? Could we have changed the lineup? I don't know," he added. "You're always trying to look at things you would've done differently. But I thought the boys just kept plugging away. It was nice to see the goal go in and I just felt like whoever scored that first goal was going to take control of the match and they certainly did.

"This is Concacaf. These are the learnings we've got to look at. Sometimes you've just got to grind a result out and we didn't do that tonight."

Canada will likely have just two more games to play in the September window before beginning their first World Cup campaign since 1986, with their opponents yet to be announced.

Monday's result leaves the Reds second in League A Group C, three points behind Honduras with a game less played.


facebooktwitterreddit