A torrential rainstorm. A Canadian record. And most importantly, a win.
The Canadian soccer team experienced it all, defeating CONCACAF rival Honduras 2-1 on a strange night in Montreal.
The game was suspended for 20 minutes in the 83rd minute due to safety concerns for the players, after winds and rain opened up over Saputo Stadium, with lightning illuminating the surrounding area.
Canada threatened to score multiple times after play resumed, holding on for the win and a split of their two-match, home-and-home series.
Canadian head coach Stephen Hart, concerned about a lack of scoring chances in Saturdayís 2-0 loss to Peru, started an aggressive 4-3-3 formation, and the tactical change served his young side well. Josh Simpson and Kevin McKenna scored for Canada in the victory.
Simpson opened the scoring in the 29th minute. Consecutive first-time efforts by Simpson and midfielder Will Johnson forced Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares into back-to-back saves. Johnsonís shot was re-directed off the crossbar, and Simpson was advantageous, finding the loose ball amidst a scramble inside the six-yard box to chest home his first goal for Canada.
After Erick Norales equalized for the visitors five minutes later, Canada regained the lead in the 42nd minute. Johnson delivered a picture perfect corner kick, met well by McKenna at the back post, holding off his man to head home his 10th International goal.
Simpson almost scored a second in the 79th minute, smashing a low drive off the post. The effort thundering off the woodwork happened almost simultaneously as the torrential rain started to fall Captain, Paul Stalteri was recognized prior to the game, appearing in a Canadian record 83rd competitive match with the Senior Menís National side.
Match attendance was 7,525, the largest crowd ever for a friendly in Montreal.