The Canadian Press reports they were held 0-0 by the tiny Caribbean nation of some 43,000 people, but still earned the point needed to win their second-round group and advance to the next round of qualifying.
“First of all, we’re through,” Canadian defender Adam Straith said with a nod. “You’ve got to take that positive out of it but it wasn’t a good performance by any means. We came up against a very motivated team today in St. Kitts and I didn’t think we were sharp enough.”
Canada, ranked 83rd in the world compared to No. 109 St. Kitts and Nevis but was outplayed at times in front of a packed and boisterous Warner Park.
A band played for the entire 90 minutes and as St. Kitts and Nevis put the Canadians under pressure, belief rose from players and fans alike that something special was possible.
It ultimately wasn’t to be, but for St. Kitts and Nevis, it was an impressive result.
For Canada, it was the exact opposite.
“We allowed them way too much space, especially on the wings and they were crossing balls into the box and putting us under pressure,” said Canadian head coach Stephen Hart, who was animated at times as his players struggled with a team comprised mainly of local amateurs.
Canada has outscored its modest opposition 14-1 and taken 11 points out of a possible 15 in the group, but the last two games have left a lot to be desired with both finishing 0-0.
“All you can do is create the chances. It’s not like we didn’t create the chances,” Hart said. “So it’s always going to be our problem. It’s not like there’s a striker out there that’s playing that we don’t have. We just have to continue trying to create the chances and hopefully they’ll start to go in.”
Canada plays St. Kitts and Nevis again at Toronto’s BMO Field on Tuesday in both team’s final group game.
Only the pool winner advances in this round of qualifying for the CONCACAF region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The Canadians join No. 57 Honduras, No. 100 Cuba and another qualifier in the next group phase.
The top two teams in that pool will advance to the final round of qualifying, which will see three CONCACAF teams book their tickets to the 2014 World Cup and another have a chance at joining them via a playoff.