For the better part of the first half on Friday, it looked like Canada may have what it takes to fend off Mexico in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying at BC Place. A draw for Les Rouges would've been a huge result World Cup qualifying against El Tri, but alas, the Mexicans showed their quality and leave Vancouver with all three points following a 3-0 win.
Javier "Chicharito" Hernández scored in the 31st minute, rising up to meet a long, looping cross for a strong header past goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Hirving Lozano scored just eight minutes later, taking the ball himself through Canada's half and firing a well-placed shot into the root of the net. Jesús Manuel Corona added one more in the 72nd minute.
Orlando City's Cyle Larin was particularly active and seemed to be at the heart of Canada's few attacking pushes. He had a shot on goal, one of only two for the Canadians. Canada was outshot 19-to-7 on the night.
- 31’ – MEX – Javier Hernandez (Miguel Layún)
- 39' – MEX – Hirving Lozano (Javier Hernandez)
- 72' – MEX – Jesús Manuel Corona (Jesús Molina)
- Full box score
- Full stats
- CHICHARITO'S MAGIC: It's performances like Friday's that have many MLS fans anxiously waiting when and if Mexico's Chicharito makes a move to MLS. He started off scoring with a powerful header that put Mexico firmly in the driver's seat, but his assist to follow it up was perhaps better. He sprung Lozano into Canada's half and behind Les Rouges' defense for a strike that made the match look almost out of reach for the Canadians.
- CANADA'S WEAK ATTACK: How do you win a soccer match if you can't score? You can't, and Canada won't be happy with their attacking efforts on Friday. With just two shots on goal and very little to test goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera, Canada looked overwhelmed by Mexico's pressure. Larin had a lot of the ball and was active, but having missed on his best chance of the evening isn't good enough against the class of CONCACAF.
- THE TOUGH ROAD AHEAD: Canada had the most favorable conditions they could've hoped for on Friday. They played at home in front of a record crowd and all the momentum started on their side. But a 3-0 loss at BC Place makes the road trip to Mexico City at the famed Estadio Azteca look all the more daunting. Canada haven't qualified for a World Cup since 1986 and it's looking like if they want to move onto the next round, the keys will be their subsequent match-ups against El Salvador and Honduras.
The two sides meet for the return leg of the series on Tuesday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (10:30 pm ET, TSN, RDS). The top two teams from their group, Group A, will advance to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, the Hexagonal. Honduras and El Salvador currently sit below both in the group.