Canada earns tie against Mexico at Azteca Stadium on road to World Cup

Canada earns tie against Mexico at Azteca Stadium on road to World Cup


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For years the Canadian males’s nationwide soccer workforce had been a punching bag for Mexico at the famed Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, however on the road to 2022 FIFA World Cup that now not is the case.

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Not with this version of the Canadian workforce, who’s placing collectively a robust case to be one of many three automated qualifiers from Concacaf at the World Cup in Qatar.

Jonathan Osorio scored within the forty second minute to give Canada a 1-1 tie against Mexico at Azteca on Thursday in a Concacaf World Cup qualifier. It was the primary time Canada has not misplaced in Mexico since 1980, and a sport they positively may have received.

“We wanted to get the three points (for win), you could see we put on a striker on in the 90th minute to try and get that win in Azteca,” stated Canada head coach John Herdman. “I’m content with the point, but at the same time, I think there was an opportunity to take three.

“I think we’ll walk away from this, looking at this in time, thinking we could have taken three tonight.”

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Canada has by no means crushed Mexico on the road, and going into the competition with a gifted squad and taking part in with home cash, not anticipated to get a consequence, Herdman determined take a run at one of the best workforce within the area, taking part in Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies up the sphere on the best wing and rising star Tajon Buchanan up entrance.

The two speedsters terrified Mexican defenders each time the ball went up the sphere and had them on the again foot from the opening kickoff.

“We learned from our last game against them (Gold Cup), we got an understanding of their pressing tactics and I thought the guys executed really well,” Herdman stated. “We were able to draw their pressure and play behind them and then focused on where our strengths were in the front areas.

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“I think the boys executed well and in the second half, we got a bit leggy, you could see that, but I thought we finished strong.”

Canada had the primary good probability of the sport when Davies arrange Richie Laryea at the highest of the Mexican penalty space, which compelled goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa to make an excellent diving save.

Unlike earlier visits to Azteca, Canada didn’t pile gamers in defence and simply try to survive for 90 minutes. This Canadian workforce has attacking expertise to threaten Mexico, no matter the place the groups are taking part in.

“We wanted to open this game up, we had to be brave,” Herdman stated. “We had to dare to lose, to win; and I thought there was a lot of courage from the players here tonight. It was easy to come here and park the bus, but we wanted to show that we’re stepping forward and we want to show that there is more to come.

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“I’m happy with the performance and I’m content with the point.”

Despite the early possibilities for Canada, it was Mexico who scored first as defender Jorge Sanchez, on a uncommon run up the sphere, took a move lifted excessive of the Canadian defence from Hirving Lozano, and slotted a shot via goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.

Canada didn’t defer from its sport plan after giving up the objective within the twenty first minute, and took the play to Mexico, creating numerous high quality possibilities to tie the sport earlier than Osorio’s objective within the forty second minute.

Davies got here shut, getting to the tip of a low cross from Buchanan from the best wing, however was unable to flip a shot on web.

Later, Stephen Eustaquio floated a free kick to the far publish, the place centre again Steven Vitoria was ready to get a head to, however the ball was batted away by Ochoa because it bounced in entrance of the goalkeeper.

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Osorio tied the sport with a world-class end, taking a move from Davies, performed via 4 Mexican gamers, managed it together with his proper foot after which slotted a left-footed shot into the nook previous Ochoa.

“I’ve watched Jonathan grow for the last three years into a solid leader on this team,” Herdman stated. “When he first came in, he was an emotional guy. But over the last three years, he’s embraced that leadership and is a big part of setting the culture of this team on and off the pitch.

“He embraced that bravery tonight, he embraced that mentality and for me, it was the best performance I’ve seen him play in a Canadian jersey.”

The second half was performed at a decrease tempo because the altitude of Mexico City appear to have an effect on gamers on each groups. Canada didn’t press as excessive and Mexico have been content material to slowly construct the ball out of the again.

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Mexico got here shut to taking the lead within the sixty fourth minute when Canada fullback Alistair Johnston practically headed the ball into his personal web defending a cross. Johnson bought to the ball meant for Lozano and tried to head it up over his personal web, however the ball bounced off the highest of the crossbar and was then cleared by Vitoria.

Later within the half, the sport was stopped as Mexican followers behind the Canada web have been deemed to be chanting homophobic slurs. This has been a long-standing downside with some Mexican followers and initially the sport was to be performed with out followers as a punishment for behaviour at the Under-23 qualifying match.

FIFA had sanctioned the Mexican soccer federation and dominated they’d to play the primary two residence video games of the ultimate Concacaf qualifying spherical in an empty stadium. The ruling was overturned in August, nonetheless, and altered to one sport, which got here when Mexico hosted Jamaica in September.

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After the temporary stoppage, play resumed and the groups settled again right into a methodical contest on the lookout for the odd break.

Canada practically bought it when Davies bought into some house, however was unable to play a remaining ball throughout to Jonathan David, who would have been in on their own. Liam Fraser had one other wonderful probability for Canada to go forward when he bought a header on a nook kick, which Ochoa tipped over the crossbar with 12 minutes to play.

Canada will proceed qualifying by travelling to face Jamaica on Sunday, then return residence to host Panama on Wednesday at BMO Field in Toronto.

“We’ve look at our three game strategy and said (Thursday) we would push hard,” Herdman stated. “We have a group of guys that would go hard and a group that is rested. I have group of warriors ready, and they know that they’re coming into this next game, and I have a group of guys that are super fresh and excited to get after Jamaica.”

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

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