The national soccer spotlight will return to Vancouver later this year when B.C. Place Stadium hosts a qualifying match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) made the announcement yesterday that the men’s qualifier scheduled for Friday, November 13 will be played between Canada and Honduras at B.C. Place.
This is the semifinal round of the CONCACAF tournament that will determine which two of the remaining 12 teams will advance to the World Cup in three years time. The match is the first of six Round 4 matches, with other matches scheduled for November 17 with El Salvador, March 2016 with Mexico and September 2016 with El Salvador or Honduras.
“Honduras and El Salvador are two similar teams, so they will be our direct rivals to qualify for the next stage,” said Canadian Head Coach Benito Floro in a statement.
This will be the first time the Canadian national men’s team has played a World Cup qualifier in Vancouver in 11 years. The last time this occurred was in October 2004 when the team lost 3-1 against Costa Rica at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium.
B.C. Place was of course the venue for nine matches of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the championship final attended by 53,341 spectators. The high attendance of the Vancouver Women’s World Cup matches and the consecutive Vancouver Whitecaps FC sell outs of the lower bowl likely played a role in the CSA’s decision for returning to the city. And of course, B.C. Place’s recent renovations have made it one of Canada’s crown jewel football-soccer stadiums.
“We are glad to play in Vancouver, especially since each time I see a match from inside this modern stadium or by television, I realize how people support the home team.”
Organizers intend to open the roof for the home game against Honduras, possibly to provide the Canadian team home field advantage with the rain and cold.
Tickets for the Vancouver match are relatively affordable, beginning at just $25.00. The special ‘Me+3’ offer will also be made available: for every three full price tickets purchased in select sections, a fourth ticket will be offered for free.
The Canadian men’s soccer team is currently ranked 102nd in the world whereas Mexico is 26th, Honduras is 81st and El Salvador is 107th. This year to date, Canada has recorded five wins, four draws and two losses over 11 international matches.
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Canada vs. Honduras
Where: B.C. Place Stadium, Vancouver
When: 7 p.m. at Friday, November 13, 2015