By Steve Keating
TORONTO (Reuters) – Cyle Larin scored a three-minute brace to lead Canada past Honduras 4-1 at BMO Field and into the CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals on Tuesday.
Canada’s all-time leading scorer wasted no time in putting Honduras to the sword, slotting home the first in the ninth minute and then driving a header home in the 12th to bring his international tally to 28 goals.
Larin could have had a first half hat-trick but missed from the penalty spot before Jonathan David made it 3-0 shortly after the break.
Jorge Benguche gave Honduras a glimmer of hope by scoring a glancing header with 17 minutes to go but Jonathan Osorio restored Canada’s three-goal advantage three minutes before full-time.
The victory earned Canada a spot in the final four in Las Vegas in June along with the United States, Mexico and either Panama or Costa Rica.
“Brilliant, Vegas,” Canada coach John Herdman said with a smile. “You’ve got to get into these big events, that’s the first time in our history to get into the Nations League finals and I think this group believes they can win it.
“They’ve shown a level of performance that should give us hope and belief we can win that Nations Cup final.”
It was almost exactly a year ago on the same pitch that Soccer Canada declared “Mission Accomplished” after a 4-0 win over Jamaica saw them qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.
After suffering three straight losses in Qatar, Canada returned to action with a 2-0 win over Curacao on Saturday but a return to BMO Field produced a much more inspiring performance, marking the unofficial launch of the next World Cup cycle.
Canada will co-host the 2026 World Cup with the U.S. and Mexico.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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Source: The Print