Canada face Gold Cup peril after scoreless draw vs. Guatemala

Canada Gold Cup 7.1.23

The Canadian men’s national team’s struggles continued Saturday evening in Houston, as they picked up a lackluster 0-0 draw against Guatemala in their second Group D match of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.

With the result, Les Rouges moved into third place on two points from as many matches and will play for their tournament lives in their final game against Cuba on July 4. Guatemala sit second on goal differential behind first-place Guadeloupe; only the group’s top two teams will advance.

With fans celebrating Canada Day north of the border, the CanMNT failed to create many attacks for the third straight match. However, the backline nullified Guatemala’s forwards, and only CF Montréal defender Aaron Herrera created attacking chances down the wide areas.

Neither side played to their potential in the opening half. Herrera nearly opened the scoring as his 37th-minute free kick deflected off the crossbar and into the sold-out crowd, brimming with Guatemalan supporters. Los Chapines outshot Canada 11-9, with their best chances coming late from Esteban Garcia’s failed chip of Milan Borjan and a late Herrera rush.

It might not be Canada’s first-choice roster at the Gold Cup; however, a scoreless draw with the world’s No. 116-ranked side is not the standard Canada, fresh off a 2022 FIFA World Cup appearance, expect.


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Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Head coach John Herdman’s team still has a dream alive in Group D heading into the final matchday, yet there is little confidence to carry. The draw is the fourth match in a row where they failed to conjure up the attacking prowess that highlighted their World Cup qualifying campaign, and rekindling that spark will be integral should Canada want to claim the “Kings of Concacaf” label.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: There wasn’t much for Canada to take away from the match, yet Nashville SC's Jacob Shaffelburg nearly opened the scoring in the 75th minute, only to see his tight-angle shot stopped by Nicholas Hagen.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Aaron Herrera, the CF Montréal defender, was calm in challenges and was critical in limiting Canada to just four successful crosses on 28 attempts while also completing three key passes.

Next Up

  • CAN: Tuesday, July 4 vs. Cuba (6:30 pm ET) | Gold Cup Group D
  • GUA: Tuesday, July 4 vs. Guadeloupe (6:30 pm ET) | Gold Cup Group D