Canada top Japan in final pre-World Cup friendly


Goals from Steven Vitória and outgoing Vancouver Whitecaps forward Lucas Cavallini - the latter in the fifth minute of stoppage time - gave Canada a 2-1 win Thursday in their final tune-up match ahead of their 2022 FIFA World Cup debut next week.

Japan opened the score at the 9-minute mark through a nice finish from Yuki Soma. But Vitória responded just 12 minutes later at Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, slotting home from close range after a corner kick.

When it appeared that both Qatar-bound teams would be splitting the points, Toronto FC's Richie Laryea earned a penalty deep into stoppage time that Cavallini converted from the spot to give Les Rouges the late win.

Canada were without starters Alphonso Davies and Stephen Eustaquio, who are working on regaining fitness ahead of Wednesday's Group F opener against Belgium on Nov. 23. Otherwise, it was a mostly full-strength squad that included a noticeable MLS presence - like CF Montréal center back Alistair Johnston, who made a record 28th consecutive start with Canada.

With their last friendly in the books, John Herdman and company are now focused on fine-tuning the final details ahead of taking on Belgium in less than a week's time, before finishing out the group stage against Croatia (Nov. 27) and Morocco (Dec. 1).


  • 9' – JPN – Yuki Soma
  • 21' – CAN – Steven Vitória 
  • 90'+5' - CAN - Lucas Cavallini