Canada earn important away point in 1:1 draw with USA in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers

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Updated: September 6, 2021

Canada remain unbeaten in the Concacaf Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after earning an important 1:1 draw against USA in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a resilient performance by the Canadian side who were committed from start to finish and picked up their road point after Cyle Larin equalised less than 10 minutes after going down a goal in the second half.
 
Canada showed plenty of heart and intensity as they picked up their second 1:1 draw in the September window following a similar scoreline against Honduras in Toronto. Canada’s next match is Wednesday 8 September against El Salvador at BMO Field in Toronto. The sold-out match will be broadcast live at 19.30 local / 19.30 ET / 16.30 PT on OneSoccer and Sportsnet.
 
“I asked for heart. I asked for each man to bring a level of intensity and to show they’re brothers. We had to make sure the USA never got comfortable. I think we were able to control without the ball a lot of the game,” said Head Coach John Herdman.  “Game by game we’re getting tighter, and getting more chemistry. We’re showing that this is a talented squad from one through 23 that are desperate to go to a FIFA World Cup.  This is a tough grind. Every game is an absolute battle. It’s like a 14-game war that we’re going through.”

The draw also gave Canada their first point against USA in USA in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers since 1980 when they played to a 0:0 draw in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Canada’s last competitive point against USA in USA was the 2002 Concacaf Gold Cup Semi-Final in Pasadena, California when they drew 0:0 at the Rose Bowl before USA advanced to the Final with a 4-2 win on kicks from the penalty mark.
 
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team has built a strong group of players that is gaining invaluable experience by reaching the Concacaf Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Canada is battling for a spot at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ as well as preparing to co-host the FIFA World Cup 2026™.
 
“We were tactically sound, we knew what our game plan was coming into the match, and we think we executed it well, said Sam Adekugbe.  “We thought we could have got the three points tonight and are disappointed not to get them.  We will take this point, but that’s not the mentality of this group. We felt we had the better chances.  I think the national anthem and the way that we sing, it shows the passion that we bring to the field.”
 
The Canadians started the match strong, putting pressure on the USA and creating chances early. In the 11’ Junior Hoilett sent a pass from his own half down the sideline to find Larin in behind the USA defence. Larin’s shot from the top of the box was a straightforward save.
 
A few minutes later, Alphonso Davies won a battle with Sergino Dest and was able to drive quickly to the touchline and pull a pass back to Larin, but the Canadian striker’s shot was stopped by a diving save by Matt Turner.
 
As the half progressed, the United States was able to start putting more pressure on Canada, and in the 21’ Miles Robinson was able to get a free shot away, but Milan Borjan made a solid diving save. In the 27’, Borjan was forced into another save on a header from teammate Scott Kennedy to prevent an own goal and keep the sides level.
 
The best chance for the USA in the first half came in the 40’ when Christian Pulisic hit the goal post.
 
Canada had the first chance of the second half, as Hoilett slid a cross through the six-yard box but none of his teammates were able to get a foot on it to put the ball in the next (50’).
 
It was the USA that took the 1:0 lead on a quick counterattack, with Brenden Aaronson tucking the goal away (55’).
 
In the 62’, Canada equalized on a goal from Larin. Sam Adekugbe played a great pass through to Davies, who was able to win the footrace against the American defender and play a cross into Larin who made no mistake with a shot into the open net.
 
Tajon Buchanan nearly gave Canada the lead in the 78’ as he made a great move to get past the defender and followed with a blistering run down the wing before taking a shot that went just inches wide of the far post.
 
The Canadians had another chance in the 87’ to take the lead courtesy of Richie Laryea who found a way in behind the defence, but no one was able to get a touch on his low cross through the box.

Canada Soccer Media Release

Photo credit: Canada Soccer