A torrid opening 45 minutes from striker Simeon Jackson paved the way for a record-breaking victory for Canada against hosts St. Lucia on Matchday 3 of CONCACAF’s second round of World Cup qualifying on Friday.
The Canadians cruised to a 7-0 win — their largest victory in an official match — powered by a first half hat-trick from Jackson, the 24-year-old attacker who had previously scored just three times for his national side.
Olivier Occean and Iain Hume also got in on the action, with both scoring two goals.
"I'm glad we got the result," head coach Stephen Hart told CanadaSoccer.com after the match. "We showed a little bit of faith in Simeon and he paid it back early and I'm glad for him."
Jackson opened the scoring in the 19th minute, latching onto a through ball from defender Adam Straith and chipping St. Lucian ‘keeper Pessius Polius. The Norwich City striker doubled his tally eight minutes later, again receiving a ball from Straith before slotting it home from within the six-yard box.
Canada added a third goal 10 minutes before the halftime whistle, with Jackson breaking in from the wing and seeing his shot deflected by a St. Lucian defender and knocked in by Occean.
Jackson then scored his third just moments later, pouncing on a rebound after Hume had his shot saved. Jackson's third goal made him only the second player in Canada’s history – and the first since Alex Bunbury in 1992 – to score three goals in a qualifier.
Occean gave Canada their fifth goal of the match just minutes into the second half, rounding the ‘keeper and easily placing the ball into the awaiting St. Lucia goal.
With 20 minutes left in the match, Hume netted Canada’s sixth and seventh goals to seal the score line.
"You just have to execute the game plan, and we did that today," Jackson told CanadaSoccer.com. "It was good that everyone was getting on the scoresheet and we take a lot of positives from this game."
D.C. United attacker Dwayne De Rosario served as Canada's captain and came off in the 55th minute. Also starting were Chivas USA's Ante Jazic, Toronto FC's Julian de Guzman.
Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson also featured from the start but was forced out of the match after suffering an injury in the 17th minute. TFC's Terry Dunfield replaced Johnson.
TFC youngster Ashtone Morgan made his Canada debut as a second-half sub for Jackson and got his first assist, feeding Hume for the final tally of the match.
The victory keeps Canada perfect at nine points after three games played, with their next match coming up on Oct. 11 at BMO Field in Toronto against Puerto Rico.
"We've got a big game [vs. Puerto Rico] in Toronto, and the whole second half [vs. St. Lucia] was about managing the game and managing our energy levels," Hart said, "because we know Puerto Rico are going to be looking for a result. This one's over with and we can breathe a little bit and enjoy it for the night, but back to busines tomorrow morning."
CAN -- Simeon Jackson, 19’
CAN -- Simeon Jackson, 27’
CAN -- Olivier Occean, 35’
CAN -- Simeon Jackson, 39’
CAN -- Olivier Occean, 52’
CAN -- Iain Hume, 73’
CAN -- Iain Hume, 86’
St. Lucia -- Pessius Polius, Bernard Edward, Kurt Frederick, Vernus Abbott (Andreaus Willie, 46’), Enderson George, Tremain Paul, Guy George (Kevin Edward, 46’), Cliff Valcin, Pernal Williams, Germal Valcin, Cleaveland Simon (Jamil Joseph, 46’)
Subs not used: Fabian Joseph, Rickson Augustin, Teran John, Barry Felix, Justin Joseph, Caster James
Canada -- Kenny Stamatopoulos, Nik Ledgerwood, Adam Straith, Ante Jazic, Julian de Guzman, Iain Hume, Will Johnson (Terry Dunfield, 17’), Simeon Jackson (Ashtone Morgan, 72’), David Edgar, Olivier Occean, Dwayne De Rosario (Josh Simpson, 55’)
Subs not used: Lars Hirschfeld, Joseph Di Chiara, Tosaint Ricketts, Jonathan Beaulieu-Borgault
Referee: Rolando Vidal (PAN)
Assistant Referees: Jaime Smith Duncan (PAN), Juan Cristobal Baines Perryman (PAN)
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN)