Canada face rivals USA for first place in Group B at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup

#CANMNT

Canada will face USA for first place in Group B this Sunday afternoon as the two neighbouring rivals wrap up the Concacaf Gold Cup group phase before next Sunday’s Quarterfinals. Both sides have already guaranteed their spot in the knockout phase, but the group finale from Kansas City will determine the Group B winner and seeding heading into the Concacaf Quarterfinals.

“It is a big match against USA this Sunday and the boys will be all in,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “The first part of our mission was qualification to the Quarterfinals which we achieved, so now the next part of the mission will be to win the group and we will be focused on that heading into an exciting match against USA. As we say, squads win tournaments, so there is an opportunity for us to freshen up a bit, but at the same time bring that energy that is going to be required in the heat against USA.”

Canada’s success in reaching the Concacaf Gold Cup knockout phase after two matches is significant. After 30 years of Concacaf Gold Cup history, it was just the second time Canada opened with back-to-back wins in the group phase, the first time Canada qualified to the knockout phase with one match remaining, and the first time Canada qualified for the knockout phase at three successive Concacaf Gold Cups (2017, 2019 and 2021).

Now at stake on Sunday is first place in Group B with the match to be broadcast live on OneSoccer at 17.00 ET / 14.00 PT (16.00 local at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS, USA). All of Canada’s matches at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup are broadcast live on OneSoccer, with the Quarterfinals match scheduled for Sunday 25 July in Arlington, TX, USA against an opponent yet to be determined. Fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube featuring the hashtag #CANMNT.

Canada and USA have a long history as rivals, with their most recent head-to-head series a split win and loss in 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League A. In the last 10 years since 2012, USA hold a slight edge in the rivalry with two wins, two draws and a loss in five matches against Canada. At this year’s Concacaf Gold Cup, both Canada and USA have opened the group phase with back-to-back wins against Martinique and Haiti with +6 goals difference, although Canada rank first in the group with eight goals scored compared to USA’s seven against the same opponents.

“Against USA, both the games we played recently were pretty intense affairs,” said Herdman. “At home we got the better of them, away they got the better of us, but when you dig into the statistics, there wasn’t much between both teams on both nights. It was how clinical they were on set pieces and transitions (in Orlando) and for us exactly the same at home in Toronto. It will be a close affair we imagine and it will have that sort of Cup Final feel as always when Canada faces USA.”

From the first two matches in the group phase, Canada’s goalscorers were Cyle Larin (three), Stephen Eustáquio (two), Jonathan Osorio, Theo Corbeanu, and Junior Hoilett. Larin, with 10 goals in 2021, set a new Men’s National Team record for most goals in a calendar year. Hoilett, with two assists in the group opener, set the Men’s National Team all-time record with 14 career assists. Also of note in the competition, Ayo Akinola and Tyler Pasher both made their Canada debuts while Eustáquio scored his first two career goals for Canada.

CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM:
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are two-time Concacaf champions, previously winning the 1985 Concacaf Championship and 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup. This year marks Canada’s 15th participation at the Concacaf Gold Cup since 1991. Along with their first-place finish in 2000, Canada reached the Semifinals in 2002 and 2007. Across the past five years from 2017 to 2021, Canada are one of only four nations that have finished top-six across all three Concacaf major tournaments: fifth place in Concacaf Nations League A and sixth place at both the 2017 and 2019 Concacaf Gold Cups.

Concacaf Gold Cup

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