Canada loses 1-0 to United States in Gold Cup

KANSAS CITY – USA coach Gregg Berhalter summed up his team’s game as an incredible start followed by “a lot of suffering.

KANSAS CITY – US coach Gregg Berhalter summed up his team’s game as an incredible start followed by “a lot of pain”.

But the pain was that of Canada when the final whistle sounded on Sunday, beaten 1-0 by its North American rival after conceding a 20-second goal in its final game of the Gold Cup preliminary round.

The Canadian men found their way back into the game after Shaq Moore’s opening goal, but failed to break through the USA defense despite having the advantage in play as the game progressed. Canada led the Americans 14-6 (3-1 on shots on target) and had 54.5 percent possession.

“We asked them a lot of questions,” said Canada coach John Herdman.

“Although I am pissed off by the result today, you will come in and be happy enough with some elements of this performance that we can prepare for the quarter-finals,” he added.

With both teams already qualified for the knockout stages, the sold-out match, the scorching Children’s Mercy Park decided on the top spot in Group B. The North American rivals entered the match with the same goal difference, but Canada, 70th, had scored one more goal. , meaning the 20th-ranked Americans needed to win to finish first while the Canadians only needed a draw.

As the winner of Group B, the United States will face second in Group C in the quarter-finals next weekend. That means taking on No.45 Jamaica or No.50 Costa Rica, who meet on Tuesday to decide the squad.

Canada will face the winner of Group C next Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. And he finds himself in the bottom half of the table, which could feature Mexico No.11 if he wins Group A. But the Mexicans do this, thanks to a scoreless draw with No.103 Trinidad and -Tobago, must have beaten No.3. 69 El Salvador later Sunday.

Canada entered the game 8-0-0 in 2021, mostly outscoring lesser opponents 39-3, with their last loss coming in January 2020, a 1-0 loss to Iceland. But the United States represented a significant increase in the degree of difficulty.

It was a dream start for Americans.

Canada failed to win multiple duels in their own camp and Sebastian Lletget, given plenty of room on the left flank, sent a low cross that eluded goaltender Max Crepeau and prepared Moore for a tap- in at the far post. It was his first goal in his eight appearances in the United States.

Moore, who plays for Tenerife in Spain, was the only non-MLS starter for the United States

US Soccer said it was the fastest goal in US Men’s National Team history, at least since 1989, when “consistent time records” began to be held.

“The first minute of the game we fell asleep and it’s just something we all have to do better at,” said Canadian midfielder Liam Fraser.

“But for the (last) 75 minutes, we had them on the ropes,” he added. “I think if a few calls come in, things definitely change. But I also think we need to be more clinical in the (penalty) zone and finish the chances that we are creating… Overall I really think we merits come out of there with three points and take the lead of the group. “

Canada unsuccessfully appealed for a ninth-minute penalty when Richie Laryea and Walker Zimmerman got tangled in the penalty area as Laryea tried to get around the USA captain, who lost her balance as both players attempted to repel.

“How’s that not a penalty… not even a free kick,” tweeted injured Canadian star Alphonso Davies.

Mexican referee Adonai Escobedo saw it differently, possibly dismissing it because both players had gripped as they made their way to the penalty area.

Laryea said it was “100%” a penalty.

Despite body language that told a different story at the time, Herdman was a diplomat after the game when asked about the non-penalty, claiming he did not have good eyesight.

“Whenever a defender runs into a striker like that, you always wonder, you always feel like it’s going to go your way,” he added. “I thought it was going to work our way.”

Canadian midfielder Tajon Buchanan, whose star is rising at the tournament, did not mince words.

“Personally, I didn’t think the referee was good today, to be honest,” he said.

Zimmerman was injured on the play and was replaced by Donovan Pines in the 15th minute.

Canada, meanwhile, lost Ayo Akinola in the 24th minute and compatriot Cyle Larin in the 53rd, both to injury.

Akinola, who was making his first start and second appearance for Canada since changing allegiance from the United States, was unable to continue after his knee appeared to twist during a challenge with James Sands . Larin, who had scored five goals in his previous four matches, came out in the 53rd after a loss.

Herdman thought Larin might have a dead leg after absorbing an enemy knee. But he said Akinola’s injury could be more problematic.

“He just felt a little twist in his knee when the player met him,” he said. “Sometimes they look worse than they are. Our fingers crossed there.”

Herdman’s disappointment mostly centered on the fact that his team had a chance of securing a rare victory over the Americans.

The United States has a 16-9-11 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to a Canadian 1-0 victory in Montreal in June 1925. But Canada has won only once since 1985 .

The only Canadian victory in recent times came in October 2019, a 2-0 triumph for Toronto in the CONCACAF Nations League game. The Americans won the rematch the following month 4-1 in Orlando.

Lletget and Gyasi Zardes were the only two American starters in this Orlando win to feature in Saturday’s starting 11. Steven Vitoria, Samuel Piette and Richie Laryea started in both games for Canada.

Canada is 1-13-9 in games against the United States on American soil, with the only victory in July 1957, a 3-2 victory at St. Louis in a qualifying match for world Cup.

Sunday’s game was a precursor to a meeting in Nashville on September 5 in the final round of World Cup qualifying in the region that spans North and Central America and the Caribbean. Canada will welcome the Americans on January 30 as the so-called octagonal continues.

Both teams have brought young teams to the Gold Cup, with many of their star players with their clubs or injured.

The starting eleven Canadians had 195 caps at the start of the game, with Samuel Piette (55), Larin (39) and Junior Hoilett (33) having 127. The American starters had a combined cap of 160.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 18, 2021

The Canadian Press

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