The Canadian men’s national team settled for a 0-0 draw with Jamaica in Concacaf World Cup qualifying at Independence Park in Kingston on Sunday night.

Here are three takeaways from the match.

Jamaica’s tactical fouls pay off

Prior to Sunday night, Canada went six matches without failing to score, and struck in nine of their previous 10 games dating back to their second-round qualifying matchup with Haiti.

Like that night in Port-au-Prince, Canada couldn’t find the back of the net in Kingston and that was thanks largely to Jamaica’s tactical fouling. They committed 19 fouls to Canada’s 11 on the night, many of which were executed when the Canadians recovered possession in a promising area.

"They tailor their style to their conditions here and I thought they did well at that,” said Canada coach John Herdman afterward. “I think for Canada, we had to adapt. We said we needed to get things in behind a bit quicker and I think that could've been better, particularly in the first half. We were just missing those runs in behind that would allow us to be more direct."

Apart from a golden chance for Liam Millar right before the hour mark, Jamaica's Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake was seldom tested. In fact, Jamaica slightly out-chanced Canada on expected goals by a margin of 1.06-0.95, according to Opta.

"That first 45 minutes, I thought Canada were in control but we never really threatened them at the levels that we can,” added Herdman. “Just not being able to find that opposite side quick enough or create that cross or shooting opportunity. In the second half, we had some good control, but they are always going to catch you at set-pieces, counter-attacks and we had to be resilient in some moments."

Some will criticize Jamaica’s physical play, but it paid off for them and successfully nullified the Canadians, who remain undefeated but still have just one win from five qualifiers in the Octagonal phase thus far.

Advertising

David ineffective again

While he wasn’t as quiet as he was in Thursday’s night’s 1-1 draw with Mexico, Jonathan David was again largely ineffective leading the attack for Canada on Sunday.

The Lille striker finished with two shots, one of which hit the target, and three touches in the box. That isn’t the be-all, end-all, but considering Jamaica’s narrow shape, David could’ve aided himself by drifting to the flanks, dropping deep and combining with Canada’s wide players before darting into the box. It served him well in the early rounds of qualifying.

However it’s framed, David’s two performances for Canada have been lackluster when considering he scored five goals in his last four appearances for Lille entering the international break. Plus, without top scorer Cyle Larin available to face Mexico and Jamaica, this was a prime opportunity to remind Canadian fans that he’s still a sublime attacker.

"The effort he's putting in is second to none,” said Herdman. “Having [Larin] around him is always the best balance for this team. He's had to shoulder a bit on his own and those little link-ups with [Jonathan] Osorio you are seeing at the [Estadio] Azteca, I thought he's making runs that are unselfish and helping others. But he's always there in the box. He's always in and around where he needed to be."

These last two performances won’t lead to David being dropped, of course, but it does serve as a reminder that when Canada aren't creating a lot of chances in transition, David can be less effective.

Advertising

Silver linings

Canada coach John Herdman named five changes to his team that drew Mexico on Thursday, largely due to suspensions and yellow-card accumulations. On the bright side for Les Rouges, no one else picked up a booking, so the likes of Stephen Eustaquio and Mark-Anthony Kaye – who risked a one-match ban – will be available to face Panama on Wednesday at BMO Field (7:30 pm ET | OneSoccer, Paramount+).

It’s a small consolation considering Canada could have widened the gap with the chasing pack had they defeated Jamaica. However, with Besiktas duo Cyle Larin and Atiba Hutchinson, along with striker Lucas Cavallini still uncertain for that clash, having maximum options available for Wednesday is imperative.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising