Canada 2 – Honduras 1

My first experience underneath the east stands at Stade Saputo was not a positive one.

That was two years ago, in the aftermath of Canada’s 2-1 loss to Honduras in World Cup qualifying — a winnable game that slipped away, made all the worse by the overwhelming preponderance of rowdy, aggressive Honduran fans.

That time, I remember being under the east stands as the understaffed security force shuffled Canadian supporters out of the stadium and into the parking lot, following beer-throwing and fistfights between supporters of the two sides. It was underneath those stones that Honduran fans had the audacity (and freedom) to throw rocks at us — the Canada supporters in Canada.

To say, then, that my experience under the east stands last night felt redemptive would be an understatement.

During a 20-minute-long rain delay with eight minutes left in the match, the Canada supporters from sections 113 and 114 huddled underneath the stands for some sort of protection from the downpour.

What erupted was a boisterous back-and-forth chorus of chanting and singing (as well as a few “let’s get fuckin’ mental” mosh pits, of course) that, somehow, were the heartiest of the night — likely because we weren’t pre-occupied with worrying about the seemingly inevitable Honduran equalizing goal.

There were plenty of worries before the game. Some (myself included) were worried about a repeat of the 2008 qualifier, both in the stands and on the field. There were also questions about what the Canadian support would look like — a group of about 20 to 30 local fans (presumably all supporters of the Montreal Impact) decided to sit apart from the Voyageurs section, in order to have freer reign to support the team in a way they saw fit.

But those worries dissipated. The sparse crowd (announced at a believable 7,525) had chunks of Honduran support, for sure, but the Canadian team didn’t need to look around and question whether they were in Montreal or San Pedro Sula. And while the first 10 minutes were a bit awkward in the Canada supporters section, eventually most people got on board — creating a few neat instances of alternating chants in French and English.

And — for the good of my heart and other internal organs — that dreaded Honduran equalizer never came. The final eight minutes of the 90 went into the books without incident, and the Canadian team was sure to pop by for some appreciative mutual applause after the final whistle.

Yes, this was a friendly match; yes, the Honduran side was missing some of its best players.

But don’t you dare try telling me the game last night at Stade Saputo was “meaningless”.

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8 Responses to “Canada 2 – Honduras 1”

  1. p.s. Fuck Honduras.

  2. They may have been missing some of their best players but so were we. I must say, after the loss to Peru I did not expect much from this game versus a superior Honduran team and minus De Guzman and DeRosario. But it’s definitely the confidence booster we needed.

    What’s next for team Canada? Any more games in the schedule yet?

  3. ^^ ‘A superior Honduran team’? Peru would have crushed the Honduras that we saw in Montreal. They were weak. A C- squad at best. Anything less than a victory from us would have been cause to give up.

  4. Enjoyed hearing Squizz talk ‘a little bit aboot’ Canadian footy on ICF.

    I liked the spirit of our team against Honduras. We actually put together some nice moves in the final third a couple of times. It’s a long, hard road, but you gotta start somewhere!

  5. That was the funnest Nats game I’ve been to so far! The first half, which had all the action, was tamer than the second in the stands. The rain really brought things to life, I suppose more or less for putting all of us in close confines below the stands to start up the cross chanting and singing. The Canadianized Lens chant (or The Massive if you will, but mine makes sure it remains TFC-free for our friends dans La Belle Province) really got going down there, and all the energy the chanting created came back to the stands with us.

    Aside from the annoying two Honduran lolitas who decided to try and ruin our chanting by screaming gibberish, I don’t think I’ve been in a Voyageurs section yet that was having as much fun with the chanting (at least in the second half) as on Tuesday.

    We really owned those fuckers in the second half too. That really added to it. Yes their side was weaker than usual, but who cares right now, it was a vital and needed win. Hart didn’t know what to do against Peru, but at least he got this game right. Is the rumour that he accidentally forgot to add Nana to the gamesheet against Peru true?

    Squizz, Jamie, and Grant, great to have met you guys. Hopefully when the Nats play out West you guys will be willing to make the same type of flight Jordan and I made. Not sure if dsqpr reads this blog, but us Prairie boys will have our own Voyageurs flavour to add (and flag for that matter) for next year I’m thinking.

    Canada ‘Till I Die and the Maple Leaf Forever!

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