Canada is moving on to the semifinals at the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship after battling Honduras to a 1-1 draw on Thursday.
Defender Derek Cornelius put the Canadians (1-0-2) on the board with a diving header in the 28th minute.
Honduras (1-0-2) was quick to respond, with Denil Maldonado getting a shot past Canada’s goaltender James Pantemis in the 30th minute.
Pantemis put in another solid performance, stopping eight on-target shots on the night. Canada’s lone on-target shot was Cornelius’ goal.
The result means Canada finishes second in Group B and will face Mexico (3-0-0) in the semifinals on Sunday.
Honduras ends the round-robin stage atop Group B on goal differential and will face the United States (2-0-1) in the other semifinal.
WATCH | Canada, Honduras play to a draw:
The semis will determine which two countries represent North and Central America and the Caribbean in Tokyo this summer.
Patrick Metcalfe sent the Canadian captain a crisp pass just outside the six-yard box and Cornelius drilled a header over Barrios’ gloves for a 1-0 lead.
The cushion didn’t last long, however.
Two minutes later, Honduran captain Maldonado registered the equalizer. Pantemis came off his line to challenge and Maldonado popped a header of his own into the Canadian goal.
It was the first goal Pantemis has conceded in the tournament. The CF Montreal netminder earned clean sheets in Canada’s scoreless draw with Haiti on Monday and in its 2-0 win over El Salvador on March 19.
Honduras out chanced the Canadians across the first half Thursday with four on-target shots and a great chance off the post.
Pantemis was forced to stretch out for a diving stop in the 45th minute when Jose Reyes unleashed a blast from the top of the penalty box.
Honduras nearly got a go-ahead goal in the 54th minute.
This time, Reyes sent a cross to Juan Carlos Obregon in the box and Obregon put a header up and over the bar.
The first caution of the night came in the 67th minute when Honduran midfielder Kevin Arriaga was shown the yellow card for a hard tackle. The warning was his second of the tournament so he will miss the semifinals on Sunday.
Metcalfe got a yellow a minute later for grabbing the jersey of Edwin Rodriguez. It was the midfielder’s first caution of the qualifiers.
Cornelius appeared to suffer an injury in the 72nd minute and sat on the field for several moments before going off with the trainers. He gave the captain’s armband to Pantemis before being replaced by Lucas Dias.
Canada got a late chance with a long free kick in injury time. Ryan Rapposo delivered the ball to the top of the penalty box but the Canadians couldn’t do anything with it before the final whistle sounded.