#CANMNT 🍁3:0 HAI
Canada won 3:0 over Haiti to advance to the Concacaf Final Round in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers for the first time since 1997. The Tuesday night victory gave Canada a 4:0 series win in the two-leg Concacaf Second Round series.
Canada went up 1:0 early in the second half on a Haitian own goal in the 46’, Cyle Larin got Canada’s second on a Haitian turnover in the 74’ and second half substitute Junior Hoilett made it three just six minutes after coming on in the 88’.
“It’s been a real big effort through this COVID period. It’s been a tough time. Tonight, it was all worth it and I think what we were able to see is the guts and determination to get to where we needed to get to. We knew there was going to be a response from Haiti and they put it out there, all credit to them, they weren’t ever going to go out on their backs. Then our quality just showing through, and we said if can keep meeting that physical test, then they won’t be able to sustain it and our quality will come through,” said Head Coach John Herdman. “We’ll enjoy this moment together as a team and as a country. We’re going to the Octagon. We’ve got a future, that’s the first thing. We’re an organization that has so much potential and we’re right on the cusp of it now.”
It was a historic victory for Canada in more ways than one as Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team tied records for most consecutive wins (six straight for the third time) and most wins in a FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign (six, tying the marks from 1992-93 and 1996-97). Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team also set a record for most goals in a season besting 2019’s 28 goals with 31 goals halfway through the 2021 calendar season while goalkeeper Milan Borjan set the all-time Canada record for clean sheets at the international “A” level (24).
Cyle Larin, meanwhile, set a Canadian record for most goals in a FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign (seven) and tied Alex Bunbury’s career record for most goals all-time in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (11).
Canada moved on to the Second Round of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying after defeating Aruba (7:0) and Suriname (4:0) to open the June window and finish atop Group B and advance to meet Haiti.
Canada had several chances in the first half but could not add to their two-leg series lead. Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David combined on a pair of chances and later David had a trio of shots from close range saved by Josué Duverger in the 33’
On another opportunity from a corner kick in the 41’, a Steven Vitória header was only partly cleared into the path of Doneil Henry, but the Henry header was just wide of the target.
Two minutes later, another Vitória header nearly hit the mark, but it was cleared off the line by Ricardo Arcus.
Canada then got their break in the 46’ after a Kévin Lafrance pass back to the goalkeeper Duverger slipped through his legs and the ball was then knocked in while trying to clear his line. The own goal gave Canada a 2:0 lead in the series.
Canada started to create more chances after the hour mark. In the 66’, Davies took a run down the left wing and his pass to Cyle Larin was shot just over the bar. Just a few moments later, it was a David run down the left side after which Larin just missed again on a shot over the bar.
Larin then scored his record-setting goal in the 74’ after he got through and beat Duverger with a left-footed shot from inside the box.
Sam Adekugbe played Junior Hoilett into the box in the 88’. Hoilett’s shot went off the post to the left of Duverger and ricocheted back to Hoilett who buried Canada’s third.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s a pleasure to represent this country, it’s a pleasure to wear this jersey, but, we are not stopping here,” said goalkeeper Milan Borjan. “I’ve been with this program 11 years now and I’m proud I got a chance to wear the armband. Canada should be proud of this team.”
Canada’s starting XI featured Milan Borjan in goal, Doneil Henry, Steven Vitória and Scott Kennedy at centre back, Alistair Johnston and Alphonso Davies at wing back, and Stephen Eustáquio, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Jonathan Osorio, Jonathan David and Cyle Larin from the midfield up through to the attack. In the second half, coach John Herdman replaced Jonathan Osorio with David Wotherspoon (65’), Cyle Larin with Sam Adekugbe (75’), and Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies with Junior Hoilett and Tajon Buchanan (82’).
Also, of note in June, Tajon Buchanan, Scott Kennedy and Dayne St. Clair all made their international “A” debuts while Jonathan David became the second Men’s National Team player to score his second career hat trick. Alphonso Davies set Men’s National Team records for assists in a season (tied) and assists in one FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign.
FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022™ QUALIFIERS
In all, 35 Concacaf nations are competing in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers, with 27 of those nations now eliminated. The Concacaf Final Round will feature Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, USA, Panama, and El Salvador.
Canada were perfect 4-0-0 in the Concacaf First Round Group B, the first-time ever that Canada won four-straight matches in FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers since they entered the competition in 1957. Canada’s 4:0 victory over Suriname marked the first time since 1985 that Canada won a FIFA World Cup Qualifiers round finale in which a loss would have eliminated them.
“We’ve created something here, a brotherhood based on a shared purpose to qualify this team to the FIFA World Cup,” said Herdman. “They care about each other and that’s the first thing. They care about taking this team to the FIFA World Cup and you saw it in March when they had a chance to be back together and build on that spirit in the Canada shirt.”
CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team, two-time Concacaf champions, were one of only four nations that have finished top-six across all three of Concacaf major tournaments across the past three years: fifth place in Concacaf Nations League A and sixth place at both the 2017 and 2019 Concacaf Gold Cups. In 2019 against Concacaf’s top three nations, Canada earned a victory against USA in Concacaf Nations League as well as eliminated both Mexico (U-15) and Costa Rica (U-17) in Concacaf youth competitions.
It will be an exciting yet busy summer of soccer for Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Program in 2021. On the heels of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers in June, Canada will participate in the 30th anniversary edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup, with their Group B matches scheduled in Kansas City on 11 July against Martinique, 15 July against a yet-to-be-determined Caribbean nation from the preliminary round, and 18 July against USA. The top-two nations from Group B advance to the final round with the Quarterfinals on 24 July, the Semi-finals on 29 July, and the Final on 1 August.
The Canada Soccer Nation Podcast hosted by Jason deVos, features engaging Canadian soccer guests speaking about a range of grassroots, coach education and club development topics. Check out all available episodes now!