Mixed Fortunes For TFC Players
Photo: Darren O'Dea heads a ball against the Czech Republic on February 29, 2012 (Getty)
Toronto FC players experienced mixed fortunes during the FIFA international break on Tuesday with one finding the net, two saw their side through a crucial stage, but the local hopeful suffered a disastrous end to Canada’s 2014 World Cup chances.
Canada finished at the wrong end of a horrific 8-1 loss in Honduras, where a draw or better would have seen the national team through to the fourth and final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualification, a six-team stage commonly called the ‘Hex.’
Toronto midfielder Terry Dunfield watched helplessly as an unused Canadian substitute while Honduras scored four goals in each half to destroy any hope of Canada advancing to the next stage. Honduras and Panama will move on from Group C.
Elsewhere in the region, Jamaica is through to the Hex after beating Antigua and Barbuda 4-1 at home. Toronto forward Ryan Johnson played 68 minutes for the Reggae Boyz and defender Dicoy Williams was left on the substitutes’ bench.
Jamaica relied on the United States for help, the Americans beat Guatemala 3-1, allowing the Reggae Boyz to advance on goal difference along with the United States from Group A.
Over in Europe, defender Darren O’Dea played the full 90 minutes for Ireland in their 4-1 triumph away to Faroe Islands. The Toronto backline leader popped in the fourth goal - his first in an Ireland shirt - from a header at the 87th minute, finishing on a ball from Spartak Moscow midfielder Aiden McGeady.
O’Dea helped keep the fixture scoreless at half by blocking a 38th minute chance from the home side. Ireland went ahead with two early goals in the second half, never looking back on way to moving within a point of second place Sweden in Group Three of UEFA World Cup qualification.
All international players will report back to the Kia Training Ground at Downsview Park this week in preparation for the home finale on Saturday against Montreal Impact (TSN at 1:30 p.m. ET).
Toronto will finish the season on the road with a must-win CONCACAF Champions League match on October 24 in Mexico against Santos Laguna, and the 2012 MLS regular season finale in Columbus four days later.dar