The second goal came in the 16th minute after de Guzman was dispossessed in midfield. Martinez’s shot was stopped by Lars Hirschfeld but Bengston was all alone to tap in the rebound.
Costly made it 3-0 in the 28th on a diving header after Bengston played provider, heading a cross back across goal that an outstretched Hirschfeld was unable to get to.
Martinez then made it 4-0 in the 32nd minute, poking the ball through a Canadian defender’s legs at the edge of the penalty area and then stroking a shot home to cap off an effortless attack that started deep in Honduras territory.
The Honduran goal bonanza continued early in the second half as Martinez sent in a cross that Costly headed past Hirschfeld in the 48th with ease.
Martinez twisted the knife further with a beautifully curled shot from just outside the penalty box in the 59th minute, upping the lead to 6-0. The crowd went wild, again.
“There’s no excuse. No excuse,” Hart said. “Everybody said they were good to go. They trained well. Individually we fell apart defensively. The first three goals were basically given to them and it was over.”
The Honduran reward is a place in the six-country final qualifying round in CONCACAF. Teams will play a home-and-away schedule in the so-called “Hex” round, with the top three advancing to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the fourth-place side taking on the Oceania winner in a playoff to see who joins them
Tuesday’s showdown came in a country infamous for the highest per capita murder rate in the world and a city known as the most violent on the planet. Guns are everywhere with citizens allowed up to five firearms per person.
The game was supervised by a FIFA security expert from Europe, called in by Canada after concerns about fan harassment at its hotel in Panama. There were no such problems at the hotel here.
More than 400 police were expected at the stadium to marshall the 40,000-capacity stands and the San Pedro Sula police chief told both teams at a meeting Monday that spectators would not be allowed to bring weapons into the stadium.
A handful of police stood along the sidelines, leaning on their riot shields prior to the match as the Canadians came out for their warmup. In the stands, fans stood two or three deep in the aisles.
Mike Klukowski came in for the ailing Ante Jazic while Nik Ledgerwood was in for suspended striker Olivier Occean, playing a more defensive role in midfield.
Jackson was the lone striker up front.
Built in 1997, the venue is a crumbling eyesore with barbed wire and a dry moat around the fenced-in pitch.
Three hours before kickoff, the stadium was a cacophony of noise with horns drowning out the public address system. But the stadium announcer did his best to be heard above the din, yelling “Honduras, Honduras, Honduras” repeatedly in a bid to ramp up the din.
The main stands at the crumbling stadium were a sea of blue-and-white.
Fortunately for those in attendance, there was some cloud cover to take the edge of 30-degree-plus heat. But the sweat still dripped in rivers.
There were dancing girls, drummers and giant puppets. And that was before the players even came out.
The Canadians walked onto the pitch in tracksuits about 75 minutes before kickoff to chants of “Honduras, Honduras.” Several of the Canadians applauded the amped-up crowd.
Fifteen minutes before kickoff, the crowd was doing the wave and yelling “Ole, Ole.”
La Prensa, the local newspaper, printed a 12-page special on the game with a front-page cartoon of an anxious looking Canadian being tossed in a frying pan in the shape of the stadium while a Honduran player looked on. “You’re toast,” ran the caption.
The paper also promised on its front cover that 38,000 people in the stadium and eight million around the country will be urging their team on with the “sacred” cheer of “Honduras, Honduras, Honduras.”
“Football is like the happiness in this country,” explained Wilfredo, who works at the hotel where the Canadians were staying, “because we have many troubles.”