The Canadian men's national team were left frustrated Sunday evening, playing to a 0-0 draw against Jamaica at Independence Park in the final round of World Cup Qualifying.
The result keeps Canada unbeaten (one win, four draws) through their first five Octagonal matches, as they head home to complete the October international window against Panama on Wednesday. Jamaica, meanwhile, will be content with a draw against a strong Canadian side, but are left still searching for their first win – more than a third of the way through the 14-game quest for a Qatar 2022 spot.
Canada may be leaving Kingston believing they should have had three points, as Liam Millar, seeking his first goal in a Canada shirt, had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 60th minute after Alphonso Davies' cross.
The Bayern Munich star made a great run into the box before squaring a pass across the face of goal, where it was met by Millar, who appeared to be staring down open net. However, Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake – initially beaten on the play – scrambled back to make an outstanding save, forcing a corner kick and keeping the match scoreless.
A few minutes prior to Millar's chance, Jamaica thought they had a go-ahead marker of their own. Off a free kick, Toronto FC defender Kemar Lawrence whipped a cross into the Canadian box that was met by the head of Junior Flemmings, whose effort – flicked on – beat everybody but the far post.
With both teams pressing for a late-winner, most of the action came in the second half. The best chance of the opening 45, however, occurred in the 15th minute when Davies received a cutback from Millar atop the Jamaican box, but fizzed his effort just past the post, summing up the evening for both teams.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Canada have another road point, but they may be disappointed not to seize all three points on Sunday evening against a vulnerable Jamaican squad. But credit to Jamaica, who made life difficult for John Herdman's side. Even without fans in the stands due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the Reggae Boyz played with heart and stayed true to their stingy defense, leading to the scoreless draw. Both teams will try and complete the October window with a win on Wednesday.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Andre Blake's stop in the 60th minute was literally game-saving. Liam Millar will likely want to have that chance back, but you have to give credit to the Philadelphia Union goalkeeper for staying with the play.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Andre Blake, again. The outstanding save in the 60th minute aside, any time your squad is outplayed in that sort of fashion and you manage to keep a clean sheet, you get some love.
- CAN: Wednesday, Oct. 13 vs. Panama | 7:30 pm ET (Paramount+, OneSoccer)
- JAM: Wednesday, Oct. 13 at Honduras | 8:05 pm ET (Paramount+)