The Canadian national team kept climbing on Sunday, concluding their Concacaf Nations League qualifying campaign with an emphatic 4-1 defeat of French Guiana at BC Place in Vancouver, clinching their place at the 2019 Gold Cup and booking a spot in the top flight of the new CNL when that competition debuts later this year.
Junior Hoilett gave the hosts a dream start, only for disaster to strike in the back not long after. An underhit back pass from Samuel Piette during buildup play exposed goalkeeper Milan Borjan to high pressure from Kevin Rimane, who tackled the ball away from Borjan and stabbed the ball into an empty net for a gift of an equalizer.
But the CanMNT responded immediately, as Lucas Cavallini and Jonathan David capped confident passing sequences with goals to give their side a 3-1 halftime cushion. An unmarked Cavallini struck for his second with a header five minutes into the second half, providing a relatively stress-free conclusion to the match despite French Guiana's unflagging spirit and effort.
With the win, Les Rouges finish CNL qualifying nearly perfect in statistical terms, with four wins out of four, 22 goals conceded and just one allowed.
- 12’ — CAN — Junior Hoilett | WATCH
- 26’ — GUF — Kevin Rimane
- 39’ — CAN — Lucas Cavallini | WATCH
- 41’ — CAN — Jonathan David | WATCH
- 50’ — CAN — Lucas Cavallini | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's onward and upward for John Herdman and his squad, who did just what was needed in this potentially dicey situation to set themselves up for bigger tests in the months and years ahead. Granted, if the coach has his way, successes like Sunday's will be mere footnotes to the glories to come.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: David's goal, Canada's third, won't go down as the game-winner, yet it was a crucial doubling of their lead just before halftime to settle any nerves frayed by the errors that led to French Guiana's leveler. And it was a lovely individual play by the talented 19-year-old, too.
Jonathan David scores for Canada! It’s his 4th goal for his country in just his 4th cap. He also notched an assist on Lucas Cavallini’s go ahead goal. Kid is going to be a player 🇨🇦🔥 pic.twitter.com/djuh3FpehN— Concacaf Future Stars (@concafutures) March 24, 2019
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Plenty of Canucks turned in solid performances, though Lucas Cavallini takes the prize for bagging a brace; it was a timely dose of scoring for a program that's needed a consistent finisher for much of its modern history.