Voices: Greg Seltzer

Canada player ratings: Eustaquio, Laryea lead the way in Gold Cup Quarterfinal triumph

Canada reached their first Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal since 2007 on the strength of an orderly 2-0 victory over Costa Rica that was more comfortable than the final score indicates.

The Maple Leaf boys always kept the game in front of them, and consistently poked at the Ticos defense. Junior Hoilett put them on top with a nifty finish, Stephen Eustaquio added on an insurance tally that his performance deserved and the entire team ensured that Costa Rica were never able to get back in the game.

Canada Men's National Team Player Ratings


The Vancouver backstop never faced a worrying shot, but his area command game was on point. Crepeau made light work of any loose ball or cross that came his way, and was alert to keep a free-kick serve from sneaking into the top corner.

There were a couple of stray passes out of the back that could have caused the team some trouble, but Johnston's positional defense helped Canada execute the game plan.


Though burned once when pulled out wide, Vitoria was mostly a rock at the back in this one. I didn't ding him for the yellow card foul, as the intervention was necessary.


The CF Montréal man stood up any Tico that tried him, using his motor to dribble them out of trouble on rare occasions when Costa Rica started to look dangerous.

Richie Laryea
Midfielder · Canada

We typically marvel at the Toronto FC wide man's ability to carve up opponents on the overlap, but he flipped the script in this one by making one strong defensive stop after another to initiate the transition game.


By doing a little bit of everything, the Pacos de Ferreira midfielder was the primary architect of Costa Rica's ouster. Eustaquio halted advances, repeatedly pointed his team in the right direction, showed the recognition to pick out Hoilett's run on the opening goal play and capped off a stellar show by banging home the capper.


The LAFC midfielder's transition passing was rather hit-and-miss in this one, but his work off the ball paid off nicely. Not only was Kaye usually available to step in front of Costa Rica rushes, but he also jumped forward at the right times to make a couple of dangerous attempts on goal.

Tajon Buchanan
Midfielder · Canada

While his final deliveries could have been a little better, Buchanan's wheels repeatedly caused problems for Costa Rica. The New England speedster was often a one-man transition game, winning a slew of corner kicks from these bursts.

The veteran attacker did some solid play driving, but his big impact came on the big plays. His brave, precise leaping chip put the Canucks in control early, and his area back-heel pass attempt pin-balled straight to Eustaquio for the second.


There was no flash in his game on this night, but Osorio was always ready to make the play Canada needed when the action came his way.

The Vancouver striker had his moments in the build, but seemed just a shade off when it came to making area runs and finishing opportunities.

John Herdman

The boss had his team organized to a military level. Even when Costa Rica found some space to wheel and deal, Canada were present to defend in waves. Because of this, a veteran Costa Rica side that knows what it's doing out there was forced to subside on few-and-far-between scraps. Plus, the Canucks were consistently free to ignite their rush game with numbers.


After firing just wide from a sharp angle, Akindele was robbed late after making a very shrewd near post run in stoppage time.

Samuel Piette
Midfielder · Canada

The CF Montréal midfield gatekeeper helped Canada close out the win with a few episodes of dogged pursuit.

Liam Fraser
Midfielder · Canada

The Columbus midfielder was never really called on during his brief cameo.


The veteran defender came on late to add another firm element to the backline.


The teen Wolverhampton attacker was only on for a few moments, but did set up a nice late chance.