CARSON, Calif. -- Cyle Larin missed an open net and Canada settled for a scoreless draw in their CONCACAF Gold Cup opener Wednesday night, leaving all four Group B teams with a point at StubHub Center.
Larin fired well off-target after beating El Salvador goalkeeper Derby Carrillo on a 36th-minute breakaway, and the Canadian defense did well throughout to neutralize the Central Americans' energetic attack and post their fifth straight shutout, dating to late March.
Costa Rica and Jamaica drew, 2-2, in the first game of the doubleheader. Canada face Jamaica and El Salvador take on Costa Rica on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, and the group concludes Tuesday night at BMO Stadium in Toronto.
Canada put just five chances on target, a Dejan Jakovic blast from the left flank that Carrillo parried in the 59th minute, headers at the keeper by substitute Marcus Haber in the 77th and 90th minutes and with the game's final touch in stoppage, and a Tosaint Ricketts bicycle kick from a Haber header in the 81st that Carrillo leapt to keep out of his net near the upper-left corner.
El Salvador, inspired by a heavily partisan crowd, came out with great energy and put the Canadian defense under pressure in the opening minutes, then lost striker Nelson Bonilla after he was inadvertently kicked in the face by Adam Straith.
Bonilla, who scored three of El Salvador's goals during their two-legged victory over St. Kitts and Nevis last month in the second round of CONCACAF's 2018 World Cup qualifying slate, received medical aid in the seventh minute, returned to the game, then went down in the center circle and was pulled in the 10th.
Irvin Herrera came on for him, and he nearly scored twice in the span of a minute 15 minutes later. He took a ball over the top from Pablo Punyed in the 26th and had an open shot in the 27th, but goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos parried both shots.
Canada didn't put a shot on frame in the first half, but they should have gone ahead in the 36th minute, after winning a clearance at midfield that soon had Larin running alone toward the Salvadoran box. The Orlando City rookie beat Carrillo at the top of the box, taking the ball to the right, then fired it well above the crossbar when a simple pass into the net would have sufficed.
El Salvador had another opportunity before halftime, when local boy Richard Menjivar -- a Cal State Bakersfield product who grew up in the nearby San Fernando Valley -- dribbled past three defenders en route to the right post, then dumped the ball into the middle for Punyed, who was turned the wrong way. Herrera got off a shot, but it was blocked, and when the Salvadorans lobbed the ball back into the box, Stamatopoulos mispunched it straight into the air. Former MLS midfielder Arturo Alvarez could not take advantage.
El Salvador, largely playing through Alvarez, had the better of play much of the second half but struggled to turn territorial advantages into actual chances. The Canadians were the more dangerous side, especially in the final 20 minutes, after Haber spelled Larin.
Haber might have done more with his header, from a cross by FC Dallas' Kyle Bekker, and Ricketts did well to get his foot on the ball and challenge Carrillo a few minutes later. Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert came on in the 83rd and moments after just cleared the crossbar on a shot from distance. Haber's header just before stoppage, which bounced to Carrillo, was the last chance.