SPORTS

Intense heat, party atmosphere greets Canada for huge match against Honduras

10/16/2012 01:56 EDT | Updated 12/16/2012 05:12 EST
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras - Honduras partied in advance of its key World Cup qualifier against Canada.

Three hours before kickoff Tuesday, the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano was a cacophony of non-stop horns that drowned out the public address announcer.

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.

Vendors sold tortillas or bags of potato chips from a cardboard box.

Gun-wielding police stood on the infield, separated from the fans by a dry moat and fence topped with barbed wire.

A giant Honduras jersey occupied one half of the field.

Outside, there was a similar party scene. Vendors hawked everything from hats to flags.

Wearing tracksuits, Canada made its first foray onto the pitch about 75 minutes before kickoff for a brief check on conditions. That drew loud chants of "Honduras, Honduras" around the stadium.

Several Canadian players filmed the scene around them while others applauded the amped up crowd.

The Canadian cause was not helped by the late news that fulllback Ante Jazic was sick and would not play.

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