Canada stormed past El Salvador by a 3-0 scoreline on Wednesday evening, closing out their first Octagonal trio of matches with an emphatic three points. This creates some serious momentum for Les Rouges heading into the next window, which starts Oct. 7 at Mexico.
As World Cup Qualifying trots on, here's how John Herdman's team performed during a dream performance at Toronto's BMO Field.
Canada Men's National Team Player Ratings
Borjan spent most of his night watching Canada put the ball in the back of the net. Though when called upon in the 67th minute, he responded well to keep out a whipped-in cross that nearly bounced into the far-side netting.
Laryea was feeling it up and down both flanks for Canada, then made a crucial defensive intervention in the 67th minute. He squared centrally for Hutchinson’s opener and subtly continues to be one of Les Rouges’ most important players.
Canada’s backline wasn’t threatened too much, though Vitoria was often there to put out fires when El Salvador pressed forward. He factored into their second goal, too, and came up with a monster block in the 37th minute on Enrico Hernandez's shot.
Canada’s captain faded some as the game wore on, but don’t lose sight of his near-immediate impact. Hutchinson one-timed home a sixth-minute opener, setting the blitz-like tone before he sprayed the ball around with comfort.
The Paços de Ferreira center-mid was a bit tamer, though that’s by no means an insult. He started his third straight WCQ for Canada and was his usual dependable self, reinforcing why head coach John Herdman trusts him dearly.
Osorio was probably the quietest of Canada’s three starting center-mids, though he still put in a solid shift. The only critique is he could’ve been a bit more disruptive or active as a string-puller, but these are minor quibbles.
Back in the starting XI in place of Cyle Larin, David made the most of his opportunity. The Lille OSC forward deftly nodded home the 2-0 strike and was active in build-up play all evening, even setting up Buchanan’s insurance sealer with a smart interception and counter.
Counter-pressing and dribbling were at the heart of Hoilett’s night, continuing strong performances across Canada’s three September qualifiers. When he was subbed off in the 57th minute, a hearty job well done and standing ovation followed suit.
Though they were missing superstar Alphonso Davies, Canada didn't regress in the slightest. Rather, they put forth their most convincing performance of World Cup Qualifying so far – a comprehensive beatdown of El Salvador that'll have Les Rouges dreaming of a Qatar 2022 spot. Herdman deserves a ton of credit here, making it five points from the first three-match window.
Aside from a yellow card, Adekugbe kept going in a positive direction. He's bound to play an important role during Canada's 2022 cycle.
All told, a pretty pedestrian run-out from Wotherspoon. But the job was essentially done when he entered in the 70th minute.
Kaye's passing wasn't quite there during his 20-minute appearance, but he largely didn't put a foot wrong.
The CF Montréal midfielder subbed on in the 79th minute and ably helped see out the result.
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward is back healthy and part of Canada's Qatar 2022 dream. That's the big-picture takeaway from a late cameo for the No. 9.