Canada is golden as they stunned the U.S. at BMO

Eduardo Harari
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

TORONTO. - From the icy trails of the Yukon to the great marshes of P.E.I., all Canadians and newcomers must have been buzzing with joy and excitement as the Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team pulled out a 2 - 0 victory in the grounds of BMO Field over their archrivals the United States.

This is one for the record books and the ages as Canada last beat the U.S. team back in 1985. This was both their first International A and their first competitive win the 2012 Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifier against the U.S. The victory awards the National Team 10 points in FIFA / Coca-Cola rankings and propels them into the 6th spot amongst the Concacaf nations.

Notwithstanding this win keeps Canada in 1st place in Group A of the Concacaf Nations League A. This is truly a testament of the great work Soccer Canada is doing in training and recruiting young talent.

For the phenom Alphonso Davies, it was his second game winner in back-to-back Concacaf Nations League matches and Lucas Cavallini set his record-tying eighth goal of the 2019 international season.

Canada’s starting XI featured Milan Borjan in goal, Richie Laryea at right back, Steven Vitória and Derek Cornelius at centre back, Kamal Miller at left back, and Samuel Piette, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Scott Arfield, Jonathan Osorio, Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies at the midfield.

Davies scored the opener in the 63rd minute after a surprising pass from Scott Arfield. Liam Fraser in his debut, started the play after he recovered a US mistake and found Arfield on the move.

It was his fifth goal for Canada and, he acknowledged, the biggest of his young career. "[I had] millions of emotions running through me on that goal," Davies said.

The elegant teenager showed why Bayern Munich wanted him so badly, slashing past defenders and generally causing havoc. With such expectations comes pressure. Herdman is doing his best to ease the load off Davies' shoulders.

"He just needs to be a kid and enjoy it ... Just let Phonzie play his football. We don't need to put him up in lights," said Herdman.

Cavallini then made it 2-0 in the 91st minute after Jonathan Osorio read U.S. play masterfully and chipped it forward.

Goalkeeper Milan Borjan posted the clean sheet. This is Canada’s third consecutive shutout victory in Concacaf Nations League and for Borjan, it was his 21st career clean sheet, just one back of Canada’s all-time record.

“This is unbelievable and thanks to the fans that were here tonight, said Borjan.  “We showed we have a young team that is bringing a new football to Canada.”

“It was just an electric atmosphere tonight,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “To the boys, nothing but pride.  There has been that belief right from the onset. Tonight, is only one step and there is more to come.”

Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are unbeaten in competitive football at BMO Field with nine wins and four draws in 13 matches. Including friendly matches, Canada have 11 wins, seven draws and just one loss, with 16 matches unbeaten since 2011.

The two teams will face off again Nov. 15 in Orlando. The U.S. will play Cuba four days later in the Cayman Islands capital of George Town.

"Yeah we made history tonight, but our job is not done," said Davies. "We play them again next month. Our focus is ... (to) repeat what we did tonight in November."

 A tie in November will be enough for Canada to win the group and advance to the tournament's final four.

According to Canada Soccer, the win moved the Canadian men past El Salvador into sixth spot among CONCACAF countries. Canada, which ranked seventh in the region in the most recent rankings, is looking to crack the top six in the region after the June international window so as to qualify for the six-team Hex, the most direct World Cup qualifying route out of CONCACAF.