Canada still running for Qatar World Cup. Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team faced its first defeat of the CONCACAF Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying, losing 1:0 to Costa Rica. Canada remains at the top of the table with two matches remaining, needing just one point to secure its spot in the World Cup.
Canada still running for Qatar World Cup
Canada took some time to find their rhythm in the match. In the 31’, Richie Laryea went for a blistering run with the ball down the wing, outpacing a Costa Rican defender and then played a pass back to Jonathan Osorio at the top of the box. However, Canada was unable to get a shot past the other Costa Rican defenders who did a great job to block multiple shot attempts.
Just a minute later, Atiba Hutchinson played a pass to Osorio that broke through the high press of Costa Rica. Osorio then picked out Laryea with some space, but Laryea’s shot went over the net (32’).
Canada was reduced to 10 men in the 34’ when Mark-Anthony Kaye was shown a second yellow card.
In the 37’, a corner kick fell right to the feet of Cyle Larin but he couldn’t sort his feet out quickly enough to get the shot away before a defender was able to clear.
In the 39’, a shot from distance by Johan Venegas was easily caught by Milan Borjan.
In the 41’, Borjan’s clearance was closed down by a Costa Rican striker but fortunately bounced just wide of the net.
Costa Rica took the lead in first half stoppage time, scoring on the second phase of a deep free kick when a cross into the middle of the box was headed into the net by Celso Borges (45+1’).
Despite being down a player, Canada came out strong in the second half as they looked for the equalizer.
In the 47’, Hutchinson picked out Laryea who played a pass into the feet of the onrushing Stephen Eustaquio but the midfielder’s touch was a bit too heavy and the ball was cleared away.
In the 49’, Tajon Buchanan took down a high ball with a beautiful first touch that allowed him to cut past a defender, but the Costa Rican keeper was out off his line quickly to stop the shot.
Costa Rica’s best opportunity to double the lead came in the 53’ when Joel Campbell found himself in behind the Canadian defence. Borjan chose to stay deep in his net, and Hutchinson did well to sprint back and put some pressure on the striker, and Borjan was able to get enough on his save to stop the shot and then cover the rebound.
In the 55’, Eustaquio played in a low free kick that eventually found its way to Jonathan David, whose quick turn allowed him to get a shot away that was somehow stopped as it looked destined for the far post.
In the 64’, Larin played a great little touch to Eustaquio who then ran into the box and took a shot that missed tying the match by inches, sliding just past the far post and out of play.
Canada had a great opportunity to equalize in the 73’. Some great footwork by Junior Hoilett allowed him to find the space to play a pass into Laryea. Laryea’s shot was saved by the Costa Rican keeper, but the rebound went high in the air and bounced around in the box. Buchanan was able to get a head on the ball, but his header hit the crossbar, and his follow up attempt went over the net.
Ismael Kone came on to make his CanMNT debut in the 79’.
In the 83’, Laryea took a powerful shot from distance that was saved by the keeper as it swerved mid-flight. The rebound eventually popped out to Hoilett who hit a clean follow-up shot that was somehow blocked on its way towards the goal.
Canada was denied by the woodwork again in the 88’, this time on a shot from David after some great passing from Hoilett and Laryea.
Canada’s Starting XI featured Milan Borjan in goal, with Alistair Johnston, Kamal Miller, Richie Laryea, and Atiba Hutchinson in front of him on defence. Hutchinson captaining the side Stephen Eustaquio, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Jonathan Osorio, and Tajon Buchanan filled out the midfield. Cyle Larin and Jonathan David were the starting strikers.
Coach John Herdman made three substitutions in the second half, bringing on Junior Hoilett for Alistair Johnston (69’), Ike Ugbo for CyleLarin (79’), and Ismael Kone for Jonathan Osorio (79’).
The next game will be in Toronto against Jamaica this Tuesday, March 27.
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