Friday, September 23, 2022

Canada blanked Qatar for an easy win in the series of pre-World Cup friendly matches. CBC Sports

Three months after the disastrous June camp of a boycott by a player over a contract standoff, one might expect Canada to go a little harsher against Qatar on Friday.

Goals from Cyl Larin and Jonathan David took away that goal in the opening 13 minutes as the Canadian men registered an easy 2-0 win over World Cup co-hosts in Vienna, Austria. Perhaps the only criticism might be that Canada, ranked 43rd in the world, could have scored more against number 48 Qatar.

“We knew the first 20 minutes would be challenging given how organized and disciplined Qatar was,” said Canadian coach John Hardman. “But I think our players, they rose to the challenge tonight.”

The Canadians will face a more serious test on Tuesday when they take on number 13 Uruguay in Bratislava, Slovakia.

“It’s going to be a tough test,” Herdman said. “But this is something we dream of. We have been playing with CONCACAF opponents for four years. All the players are dreaming of their international careers all the time. [of] Teams of the stature of Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina are playing. This is the stuff we’ve been waiting for.

“For us it’s like playing a cup final against Uruguay, like playing against Belgium or Croatia. [whom Canada will face in Group F at the World Cup], So there’s an excitement. But we have to temper with that quality of reality again and then we have to work in the next three days.”

look | Larin starts scoring for Canada:

Sil Larin scores winner in Canada’s friendly win over FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar

In Canada’s 2–0 win over Qatar in Vienna, Cyl Larin scored his 25th international goal, extending his Canadian men’s record.

Canada’s final World Cup practice is against No. 24 Japan in Dubai on November 17.

Canada controlled large parts of the game on Friday, beating Qatar 13-8 (8-2 on target) with 61 percent possession.

Canada wasted little time by scoring Larrin’s goal in the fourth minute. The Club Brugge striker led home to Sam Adecugbe Cross for his Canadian men’s record of 25th goals in 53 appearances.

David doubled the lead in the 13th minute by punching a Kamal Miller cross after a dive off Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, but only to the waiting Canadian pair. Alfonso Davies went down trying to get to the ball, losing his leg, but David was in the Canadian colors to knock home his 22nd goal in 33 games.

David, who is signed to Adidas, covers the Nike logo on a Canada shirt with his right hand celebrating Target. There has been a recent buzz on social media about Canada, unlike other teams, that have not unveiled a new jersey for the World Cup.

look | David Score covers the Nike logo:

Jonathan David celebrates goal against Qatar by swooping down on Nike Kits

Jonathan David scored his 22nd international goal in Canada’s 2–0 friendly win over Qatar, and then proceeded to cover the Nike logo on Canada’s shirt with his right hand. About Canada Unlike other teams on social media recently, a new soccer kit for the World Cup hasn’t been unveiled.

Harderman, perhaps diplomatically, said after the game that he had not noticed the celebration.

Canada came close to scoring a third goal from a free kick in the 88th minute, but Ike Ugbo’s header was saved by a Qatar keeper and Miller’s rebound effort hit the crossbar.

There was a moment of worry in the second half when Davis needed treatment after engaging with Ismail Mohamed in the 57th minute. The Bayern Munich star was able to walk oddly, as he gave way to a substitute.

“I think he’s fine. He was sitting on the bench smiling. So I think he’s fine,” Herdman said.

look | Davis off the field in the 60th minute

Canada looks scared as Alfonso Davis walks off the field for victory over Qatar

Canada’s Alfonso Davies crashed out in the 60th minute of Canada’s 2–0 friendly win over Qatar, after engaging with Ismail Mohamed, but was able to get off the pitch.

David (Jr) Hoillet earned his 48th cap, captaining Canada in the absence of the injured Ateeba Hutchinson.

Friday’s game marked the first time since November 2016 against Canada’s men’s Asian rival when they lost 2–0 to South Korea.

controlled game from the beginning

The Canadians, playing the World Cup on 23 November, used the flanks to attack the condensed Qatar defence, against No. 2 Belgium.

Canada had 62 per cent possession in the first half. Both sides made changes in the second half with Herdman sending off Richie Laria, Charles-Andreas Bryan, Ismail Kohn, Ugbo, Liam Miller and Marc-Anthony Kaye.

Qatar showed more aim in the second half but could not breach Canada’s defence, offering little in the attack.

For Canadians, the European camp is the first meeting since an unfortunate gathering in Vancouver in June, when players refused to play a friendly against Panama due to a contract dispute. The team put the stalemate behind it to play Curaçao and Honduras in CONCACAF Nations League matches on 9 and 13 June. But the contract negotiations are on.

Harderman has other injury concerns with Club Brugge winger Tajón Buchanan likely to bench the Uruguay game only if he recovers. Toronto FC defender Doniel Henry, who was battling a hamstring problem on the eve of the camp, is with the team but is unlikely to be in action. TFC teammate Jonathan Osorio stayed home in mid-July to deal with “neurological dysfunction” as a result of an elbow to the head in an MLS game.

Despite the injuries, Harderman fielded a strong lineup with Miller, Steven Vittoria and Alistair Johnston in the wingback with goalkeeper Milan Borjan along with Adecugbe and Hoillet and with Davis, David and Larin in midfield by Samuel Piet and Stephen Eustaquio. led the attack.

Piet was influential in midfield, often joining Eustaquio in sniffing out Qatar’s attacks.

The Canadians entered the match with a combined 428 caps in the opening 11, led by Borjan (65) and Piet (62).

look | Chris Jones breaks down the status of Canada’s men’s team:

Canada faces tough international tests against Qatar, Uruguay ahead of World Cup

Chris Jones of CBC Sports breaks down the biggest story going into CanMNT’s upcoming friendly against Qatar and Uruguay.

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