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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Canada beat El Salvador, inches closer to World Cup berth

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El Salvador defender Roberto Dominguez, left, vie for the ball with Canadian forward Jonathan Osorio during the FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Qualifier football match between El Salvador and Canada at Cuscatlán Stadium in San Salvador. On February 2, 2022, Canada won 2–0.Marvin Raikinos / AFP / Getty Images

After 36 long years, the wait for the Canada men’s national football team is almost over.

After a 2-0 win in El Salvador on Wednesday, the team is now only one victory away from advancing to the first World Cup since 1986. It was not easy, but Canada went on to win their sixth straight and remained unbeaten in all 11 matches. In this final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

With a win in any of the remaining three qualifiers, all at the end of March – against Costa Rica, home against Jamaica, and in Panama – Canada will seal their World Cup spot. The team is still in first place in the eight-team group, four points above the United States and Mexico, which both won on Wednesday.

Primarily, in a game of squad rotation where head coach John Harderman made the bulk of the changes from a team that beat the United States 2-0 on Sunday, it was Ateeba Hutchinson’s 38-year-old leg who did the damage with one of the most. One of the most bizarre goals you can ever see.

His ninth goal for his country – and his second goal against El Salvador in this final round of World Cup qualifying – in his record 92nd appearance for his country, captained the Canadian men’s national team, next Tuesday. Turned 39, was in his place. best motivator.

He later reflected on his long journey towards the World Cup.

“This team, this program, we’ve been through a lot,” Hutchinson said. “We have had very difficult times and heartbreaking results. … We have a whole country that is finally behind us, and we think that’s really pushing us forward.”

And as he did in Honduras last week, Jonathan David scored a goal again to secure a 2-0 win for the third time in a row, which Hardemann described as “a challenging one”. [international] Window.”

Thanks to Costa Rica’s 1–0 win over Jamaica earlier in the evening, the Canadian men knew they had no chance of qualifying for Qatar the night before the game began. John Harderman’s team needed a confluence of four different events to punch up their World Cup ticket on Wednesday, and proceeding at pitch level at the Cuscatlán Stadium in the El Salvador capital, with the first one going against attention may be given. San Salvador.

Not that the hours before the game weren’t enough to distract players from both sides. For some time it looked like the game was not even going to take place, with the home side initially refusing to play due to disagreements with their national football federation over bonuses and the treatment of players.

This was eventually ironed out, and with the players issuing a statement that “had decided to play and give everything to keep this illusion of a country alive,” El Salvador was dealt another blow when the goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez injured his ankle during the warm-up. ,

But despite coming into the cold, his replacement Kevin Carabantes was called up frequently in the first half, with Europe’s most in-form striker being highlighted except for little reaction to Jonathan David’s shot when he was set up beautifully. . Sam Adekugbe, the scorer of Sunday’s second goal. He did well to react to the set piece as well, denying free kicks to both Stefan Eustaquio and Junior Hoillet.

Living up to his “next man up” mantra throughout this World Cup qualifying campaign, Herdman decided against just rolling things out of Sunday’s now-era victory over USA in Hamilton. As a result, the first goal scorer in that game, Cyl Larrin, who is now the program’s all-time scoring leader with 23 national-team goals, found himself on the bench to start the match.

He was not alone, joining other key players as Harderman sounded the bell of change, watching his team play its third game in seven days, from Hamilton’s sub-zero temperatures to the high teens and high humidity of the San. Keep in mind to go. Salvador. So fast wingers Tajon Buchanan and Alistair Johnston also had to start the game in the dugout, an unfamiliar location for Johnston, who had played 1,174 minutes of World Cup qualifying action before kickoff, the most among Canadian players.

However, the trio saw action in the second half as Canada pushed for a no-score victory in the first 45 minutes. And after his star turn on Sunday, it was an opportunity for Larin to be the provider here.

Barely 10 minutes after arriving, the Besiktas striker tore off the right wing before centering a cross towards his teammate for both club and country. Hutchinson was able to get a head on the ball, but it could only bounce back from the post, before hitting the Canadian captain twice more and somehow stunned Carabantes into the net.

Hutchinson later said, “Obviously a lucky goal but it crossed the line, and in football sometimes you need that luck.”

Milan Borjan, who scored a number of key defenses in Sunday’s win, was finally called to make up the difference in injury time, saving only two shots that El Salvador made on goal, averting a long-range attempt on the bar. In a wonderful way.

A few seconds later, David finished the scoring with a clean chipped finish for his 20th international goal in his 27th appearance for Canada.

After controlling the match for a large period, with a 52–48 percent lead, to go with an 11–5 advantage in shots, the win was not worth Canada.

Canada’s first win in El Salvador since 1996 has propelled Canada to the brink of its World Cup dream. Now he has to play the waiting game till March 24 at the earliest to see how that dream comes true.

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