FRISCO, United States, July 15, (AFP): Canada advanced to their first quarter-final since 2009 after playing to a scoreless draw with Honduras in the final Group A match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Friday.
Canada and Honduras moved on to the quarters where they will join Group A winner Costa Rica who advanced with a dominating 3-0 victory over winless French Guiana earlier Friday.
Both Canada and Costa Rica went unbeaten in the group stage. Costa Rica finished with two wins and a draw for seven points ahead of Canada who had one victory and two draws for five points.
Canada has been the surprise team so far in the Gold Cup, getting an offensive spark from teen phenom Alphonso Davies. They also have excellent goaltending and more depth on their roster than previous Gold Cup teams.
Davies, who is the first player this tournament to reach three goals, did not start Friday due to an ankle problem but he was inserted into the lineup by head coach Octavio Zambrano.
Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan got the shutout as he backed up his 10 save game against Costa Rica earlier with another solid performance on Friday night.
Honduras advanced to the quarters despite failing to score a goal in the group stage. Their only win came as a result of French Guiana having to forfeit a game after defiantly playing former French international Florent Malouda, who had earlier been ruled ineligible for the tournament.
French Guiana was also fined an undisclosed amount and ex-Chelsea star Malouda was slapped with a two-game suspension that included a stadium ban.
In another bold move Friday that may result in further discipline, Malouda arrived on the team bus and television cameras appeared to show him watching the game from an undisclosed location inside the stadium.
Ariel Rodriguez (4th), Rodney Wallace (79th) and David Ramirez (83rd) scored for Costa Rica.
Costa Rica took control from the start, with Rodriguez scoring early off a corner kick.