Canada player ratings: Cyle Larin, Alistair Johnston star in huge win over Mexico

For the first time since the 2000 Gold Cup, Canada have beaten Mexico. Cyle Larin’s two goals on a frigid night in Edmonton carried Les Rouges to a 2-1 over El Tri.

John Herdman's team now tops the Octagonal in the final round of Concacaf qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

On a dreamland evening for Canadian soccer, let’s take a look at the ratings.

Milan Borjan CAN
Milan Borjan
Goalkeeper · Canada

Borjan kept his nerve late, especially in the madcap final few minutes as Mexico pushed for an equalizer. Prior to that, Borjan claimed crosses, came off his line well and made the most of an apparent first-half ankle injury that killed any momentum Mexico may have been building.


An inspired performance from the Nashville SC defender. In the lead-up to Canada’s opening goal, Johnston read the play well to beat Orbelin Pineda to a loose ball and then did the right thing in testing Guillermo Ochoa with a long-range effort. In the cold weather, that shot led to the rebound that Larin cashed in.


Henry exited in the 37th minute while sitting on a yellow card and was replaced by Steven Vitoria. The former Toronto FC man committed four fouls in the opening 12 minutes – the last earning him a yellow card. He settled down but was always one mistake away from a sending-off.


Miller was a beast on the backline. The CF Montréal defender broke up passes and promising Mexican advances all night long.


Laryea’s best moment came in the first half when he did a good job drawing fouls and generally slowing down Mexico.

Stephen Eustáquio

A sensational free kick teed up Larin for Canada’s second goal of the night. As always, Eustáquio's passing added another dimension to Canada’s game. The one drawback was his failure to pick up Jesus "Tecatito" Corona in the dying minutes. Corona’s cross led to Mexico’s goal.

Atiba Hutchinson CAN headshot

Just another solid night, as you would expect from Hutchinson, who is now the all-time Canadian men’s caps leader. His 90th appearance is one that will live long in his memory and that of all Canadian soccer fans.


Another solid night on the backline for Adekugbe. He was less involved in the attack compared to the Costa Rican game but in Mexico, he faced a more potent offense and handled himself well. Adekugbe's dive into the snowbank on Larin’s second goal of the night is the stuff of memes to come.

Tajon Buchanan
Midfielder · Canada

The New England Revolution starlet was dangerous on counter-attacks the few times he was allowed to break.

An off night for Davies but in the end, it didn’t really matter. One of the few areas Mexico did well was surround Davies and never let him get up to full speed. But if anything, that opened up more space for his teammates.

Cyle Larin
Forward · Canada

Like all good scorers, Larin converted when he was given the chances. Larin now has goals against Mexico and the USMNT in this cycle – he’s adding to his growing legend as a big-game player.

John Herman
Head coach

Perhaps starting Doneil Henry wasn’t the right choice but Herdman recognized that mistake and decided to make the change to Steven Vitoria. Herdman inherited a group already loaded with attacking talent never before seen by the Canadian program. What he’s brought are motivational skills that have Canada on the verge of ending so many years, so many decades of heartache.


Steven Vitoria CAN

Vitória provided a stabilizing presence after coming on for Henry. He probably should have started but the damage hadn’t been done when he came in so no harm, no foul.

David only lasted just over 15 minutes after coming on in the 72nd minute and picking up an injury. With away games to Honduras and El Salvador looming in January, Canadian fans will hope the knock isn’t too serious.

Cavallini entered in the dying minutes for David.


Osorio subbed on in the closing minutes to help Canada hold on for the win.