Sunday, November 28

Canada became leader of the octagonal by defeating a Mexico that lost ground

The Canadian team took the lead in the Concacaf octagonal qualifier for the Qatar-2022 World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Mexico in the game that closed the eighth day, played at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

Cyle Larin, at minutes 45 + 2 and at 52, scored the goals for the Canadian squad that reached 16 points. Héctor Herrera, at 90, got the discount for the Mexican team that was left with 14 units and dropped to third position.

Gerardo Martino, the Mexico coach, approached the game cautiously by changing his scheme from four defenders to a line of five that allowed the Tricolor to contain the Canadians and play the ball calmly and without risking or proposing.

Canada began to take the initiative and in the 23rd minute they had their first shot on goal. Larin received a frontal pass and took a low shot inside the area that was controlled by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Mexico began to resist the incipient Canadian dominance and loosed the lanes a bit, first Jesús Gallardo on the left and then Jorge Sánchez on the right; in the center, striker Raúl Jiménez tried to carry and hold the ball, waiting for an accompaniment.

Despite the insinuations, neither squad exercised dominance or made defensive plays, but Canada found the goal shortly before the break.

Alistair Johnston stole a ball from Orbelín Pineda in midfield and took a shot from outside the area, Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa rejected the ball towards the center and left it served for Larin to score 1-0.

For the second half, ‘Tata’ Martino had to dismantle his five-man defensive device and Mexico felt very fragile in the rear.

Canada found its second goal on a set piece play. Stephen Eustaquio sent the ball into the box. Goalkeeper Ochoa did not come out for the ball and allowed Larin to appear comfortable to score 2-0.

The Mexicans tried the reaction and had two shots to the goal of Roberto Alvarado that were resolved by goalkeeper Milan Borjan; Jiménez tried the shot on goal but sent the ball over the crossbar.

The game had a dramatic outcome. Herrera made it 2-1 with a header, a pass from Jesús ‘Tecatito’ Corona to 90 and already in compensation time the Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan took a ball over the goal line after an uncomfortable shot by Jorge Sánchez and then he froze all the danger that came to him.

On the ninth day of the octagonal, on January 27, Canada will visit Honduras and Mexico will go to the home of Jamaica.


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