Canada is heading to the Octagonal. With a 3-0 win and a 4-0 aggregate score against Haiti, the Canadian men's national team have qualified for the final stage of World Cup Qualifying for the first time since 1997.
Despite only needing a draw to advance, Canada applied the pressure to try and break the deadlock early. Canada's biggest chance of the first half came from a triple effort by Jonathan David. Haitian goalkeeper Josue Duverger, a native of Montreal who filled in for captain Johnny Placide due to visa issues, saved all three of the Lille striker's shots from inside the six-yard box.
Canada continued to threaten the Haitians but the visitors kept resisting. Steven Vitoria thought he had opened the score for his country with a powerful header from a corner kick but Carlens Arcus cleared the ball off the line to keep the game scoreless at halftime.
Haiti gifted Canada the opening goal with a costly mistake that led to an own goal. Kevin Lafrance passed back toward his goalkeeper but Duverger fumbled and couldn't make his clearance in time. The ball slowly rolled inside the net as Duverger held his head in his hands in disbelief.
Les Rouges wanted to add a proper goal to the tally and finally found one at the 74th minute. Cyle Larin muscled off the last Haitian defenders before heading through on goal. The former Orlando City striker's shot hit Duverger but rolled in to give the Canadians a 2-0 scoreline on the night and a 3-0 aggregate lead.
Coming off the bench late in the game, Junior Hoilett found his 11th goal for Canada at the 86th minute. The former Cardiff City player hit the post with a shot from outside the box but Hoilett continued on his effort, took possession of his own rebound and tapped in Canada's third goal of the night.
- 46' — CAN — Josue Duverger (OG)
- 74' — CAN — Cyle Larin
- 86' — CAN — Junior Hoilett
THE BIG PICTURE: The Canadian men’s national team has finally reached the final round of World Cup Qualifying for the first time since 1997. After a tough road to get to the Octagonal stage, Canada will take a moment to celebrate before trying to qualify for their first FIFA World Cup since 1986.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: A costly mistake from Haiti gave Canada their first goal of the game. Josue Duverger mishandled a back pass and opened the deadlock to effectively end Haiti's World Cup hopes.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Hailing from SSV Jahn Resenburg in the German second division, Scott Kennedy turned heads against Haiti. The center back was strong defensively but also had the eye going forward by playing through balls in the space for the likes of Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies.