Atiba Hutchinson and Jonathan David scored inside the opening 11 minutes, Tajon Buchanan added an insurance goal in transition after halftime and the Canadian men's national team cruised to a 3-0 victory over El Salvador Wednesday to bank their first three-point night of the final round of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying.
David and the New England Revolution's Buchanan also assisted each other's goals as Canada made easy work of their second home qualifier in this September window after settling for a 1-1 draw against Honduras in the first.
In between, they earned a valuable away draw at the United States on Sunday, which means they'll finish Wednesday night no worse than tied for third on points after three of 14 final-round matches.
Les Rouges goalkeeper Milan Borjan rarely saw his net threatened and wasn't even forced into a save by El Salvador, who are on two points but yet to score after three final-round matches.
La Selecta came closest to scoring eight minutes before the break, when Enrico Hernández's effort from outside the box was deflected narrowly wide of the target.
- THE BIG PICTURE: This was a crucial win for Canada to consolidate momentum after their encouraging draw against the USMNT on the weekend. While the hosts came into Wednesday ranked No. 59 in the FIFA World Rankings and only five spots ahead of the visitors, this was a performance that suggested those rankings haven't caught up with the rapidly improving quality of the True North's roster.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Atiba Hutchinson is among the most prolific players in Canadian soccer history. But it's hard to imagine any of the 38-year-old captain's previous eight goals on the international level rival his ninth, which set Canada on the right foot in their first final-round qualifying win since the 1998 cycle.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tajon Buchanan. The Revs stalwart scored, notched an assist and was among the most active creators of a strong Canadian attack. And he mostly kept his cool while being a relentless target of physical play from El Salvador, though he did get booked (perhaps undeservingly) in the first half. Check out his deserved goal below: