The Canadian men's national team put in a historic performance Thursday night, tying Mexico 1-1 in the final round of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying to record just their third draw against El Tri – and first at Estadio Azteca – since 2000.
The result keeps both teams unbeaten through their first four matches in the Octagonal – a particularly impressive scenario for Canada, who have already negotiated their two toughest matches on paper, at the US and now at Mexico.
Canada, who entered the night having never won on Mexican soil, started off the match valiantly, but Mexico got on the board first in the 21st minute.
A perfectly timed ball over the top from Hirving "Chucky" Lozano found the run of fullback Jorge Sánchez, and the Club América defender took a touch before hitting a left-footed shot through the legs of Maxime Crépeau to make it 1-0 early for the home side.
But just before halftime, Les Rouges snagged their equalizer through Jonathan Osorio. With his head up in midfield, Alphonso Davies picked out Osorio streaking through the middle with a pinpoint pass, and the Toronto FC midfielder took one touch before calmly slotting home past Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa to level the match.
The goal was Canada's first at Estadio Azteca since 1980. Prior to Thursday night, Mexico had outscored Canada 20-0 in their five previous meetings at Azteca.
With neither side giving up too much to begin the second half, Mexico would almost break through come the 64th minute in unconventional fashion. Tracking back to defend a cross, Alistair Johnston’s defensive header looped over his own goalkeeper and off the Canadian crossbar before being cleared to safety by Steven Vitória – much to the relief of those in red.
Neither side found a late winner, as both teams will try and get back in the win column Sunday and continue their push towards qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
- 21' – MEX – Jorge Sánchez
- 42' – CAN – Jonathan Osorio
- THE BIG PICTURE: If you didn't know before, Canada just proved to everybody that they're legitimate contenders in the Concacaf region. There's even an argument to be made that John Herdman's squad could have secured three points at Estadio Azteca. El Tri, who were whistled off by their own fans at halftime, will try and quickly bounce back against Honduras on Sunday as they see their lead atop the Concacaf World Cup Qualifying standings slip to the United States.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Jonathan Osorio's goal. After falling behind early, the Toronto FC midfielder's equalizer sparked belief back into his squad.
- CAN: Sunday, Oct. 10 at Jamaica | 6 pm ET (Paramount+, OneSoccer)
- MEX: Sunday, Oct. 10 vs. Honduras | 7 pm ET (Paramount+)