Canada's Alphonso Davies (19) breaks past Cayman Island defender Cameron Gray during the second half of a World Cup 2022 Group B qualifying soccer match Monday, March 29, 2021, in Bradenton, Fla.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mike Carlson

David, Davies dazzle as Canada advances in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

David, Davies dazzle as Canada advances in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Jonathan David scored three goals and Alphonso Davies had a goal and two assists as Canada moved into the next round of World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF with a 4-0 win over Suriname on Tuesday.

After a slow start, the Canadians found their rhythm in a dominant three-goal second half with the 20-year-old Davies and 21-year-old David combining to befuddle the Suriname defence. David upped his international total to 15 goals in 14 games while Davies collected his ninth goal in 21 matches for Canada.

The Canadian men came into the game at an empty SeatGeek Stadium needing a draw or victory to win Group B and advance. While both teams had won their three previous matches, 70th-ranked Canada had a better goal difference than No. 136 Suriname.

Following its slow start with Canada looking disconnected, Davies broke the deadlock in the 37th minute. Taking a through ball from David, the Bayern Munich star outpaced defender Kelvin Leerdam to slot a left-footed shot through goalkeeper Warner Hahn’s legs. Davies took his lumps as he scored his fourth goal in his last three games for Canada, colliding with Suriname captain Ryan Donk.

Davies was the provider in the 59th minute, feeding David. The Lille forward left defender Shaquille Pinas in his tracks, beating Hahn.

It was more of the same in the 73rd minute. Davie danced past two defenders, kept his balance and unselfishly fed David, who turned and fired the ball past Hahn who was rooted to the spot.

Suriname’s second-half collapse continued when Hahn took down substitute Lucas Cavallini in the box, following a fine through ball by Mark-Anthony Kaye. David coolly slotted the ball home in the 77th minute for his hat-trick.

It marked his second three-goal performance for his country, following a hat-trick against Cuba at the 2019 Gold Cup.

David and Davies exited in the 82d minute, much to Suriname’s relief.

Canada will face Haiti next.

Haiti (3-0-0) won Group E by edging No. 147 Nicaragua 1-0 earlier Tuesday on a 63rd-minute goal by Columbus Crew winger Derrick Etienne at Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince. Haiti outscored Nicaragua, No. 170 Belize and No. 206 Turks and Caicos by a combined 13-0.

Canada is 7-2-2 all-time against the Haiti but was beaten last time out, blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Gold Cup in Houston. The Canadians had been unbeaten in nine straight meetings (7-0-2) before that.

The Canada-Haiti winner advances to the so-called Octagonal, the final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean. No. 11 Mexico, the 20th-ranked U.S., No. 45 Jamaica, No. 50 Costa Rica and No. 67 Honduras got byes to the final round, which will see the eight teams play each other home and away starting this September.

The top three teams from the Octagonal book their tickets to Qatar 2022. The fourth-place finisher moves on to an intercontinental playoff to see who joins them.

The Canadian men have not reached the final round of qualifying in the region since 1996-97 ahead of France 1998.

After fielding a split squad in Saturday’s 7-0 victory over Aruba in Bradenton, Fla., Canada coach John Herdman unveiled a completely new starting lineup featuring Davies, David, Cyle Larin, Milan Borjan and Jonathan Osorio.

Tuesday’s starting 11 came into the match with 246 combined caps, with Borjan and Samuel Piette accounting for 101 of those. The starting 11 against Aruba, in contrast, had a combined 110 caps.

There was a senior debut for defender Scott Kennedy, a 24-year-old from Calgary who plays for SSV Jahn Regensburg in the German second tier. He started alongside Doneil Henry and Alistair Johnston in a back three that came into the game with 33 caps, with Henry accounting for 31 of those. Borjan captained the side.

Davies and Richie Laryea provided threats on the wing with Davies often moving inside, pulling Suriname defenders with him. David and Larin led the Canadian attack.

Suriname reinforced its roster in recent months by adding Dutch-born players with Suriname roots, with only two of Tuesday’s 11 starters born in Suriname.

Manager Dean Gorre made just one change from the team that blanked Bermuda 6-0 last Friday. The Suriname starting 11 featured players plying their trade in the Netherlands, Cyprus, Germany, Israel, Turkey and Major League Soccer.

While experienced at the club level, the Suriname squad has not played much together.

Canada had a few wonky moments early on.

A Tjaronn Chery free kick from long distance forced a diving Borjan to palm the ball away in the 11th minute. A minute later, Sheraldo Becker’s shot hit the Canadian crossbar with Borjan beaten.

At the other end, Hahn stopped a dangerous David shot in the 17th minute with Laryea’s follow-up deflected shot hitting the goalpost.

Suriname brought on winger/forward Florian Jozefzoon, who plays for England’s Rotherham United on loan from Derby County, to start the second half.

Larin had a chance to add to the Canadian lead in the 52nd minute when Hahn fumbled the ball but his close-range shot from an awkward position went straight at the ‘keeper. Hahn stopped Davies in the 58th minute after the Canadian tormented several Suriname defenders in the penalty box to make room for his shot.

Canada showed its depth by bringing on Cavallini and Kaye midway through the second half.

Canada appealed unsuccessfully for a 69th-minute penalty when David went down in the Suriname box with Donk. A minute late, Suriname’s Mitchell te Vrede blasted a shot high after being put in alone.

Canada opened Group B qualifying play by dispatching No. 168 Bermuda 5-1 and the 194th-ranked Cayman Islands 11-0 before shutting out No. 205 Aruba. Suriname defeated the Cayman Islands 3-0 and Aruba 6-0 before blanking Bermuda.

Twenty-nine teams started the first round, with only the six group winners moving on.

Tuesday’s game in suburban Chicago was officially a Canada home match but was moved because of pandemic-related border restrictions. An earlier ‘home’ game was played in Orlando.

It was the first Canada-Suriname meeting since 1977 when Canada won 2-1 in World Cup qualifying.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2021

The Canadian Press


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