It wasn't quite as explosive as Saturday's 6-0 thrashing at BMO Field in Toronto, but Canada got the job done in Tuesday's return fixture vs. Cuba, defeating the islanders 1-0 in Concacaf Nations League A action thanks to a wicked strike from young star Alphonso Davies.
The Vancouver Whitecaps academy product lashed a first-time finish from the top of the penalty box just nine minutes in, with former Orlando City striker Cyle Larin tabbing an assist on the play. It would prove the game's sole goal, though the second-half ejection of 'Caps defender Doneil Henry, who earned his second yellow card for dissent after a foul call, made things a bit tougher for the visitors.
With Cuba's Estadio Pedro Marrero unable to meet Concacaf venue standards, the match was held at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in the Cayman Islands, and the Cubans found it easier to keep their shape and composure on a lush grass pitch that played a bit slower than the norm.
That said, Les Rouges still controlled the game in most facets save the scoreline, enjoying more than 80 percent of possession and only rarely looking troubled in defense even when playing with 10 men, as they ran their CNL record to 2-0 ahead of two intriguing matchups with the United States this fall.
- 9’ — CAN — Alphonso Davies | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Job done, plain and simple. Coach John Herdman spoke of racking up a big goal differential vs. Cuba with an eye towards a possible tiebreaker scenario with the U.S.; they didn't exactly pour it on in this game and will have to wait and see if it costs them down the line. But first, back-to-back USA-Canada clashes loom on Oct. 15 and Nov. 15 – which look like must-see viewing for MLS audiences on both sides of the border.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Davies' missile is the obvious pick.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Will Johnson put in plenty of hard work in midfield, but Fonzie Davies gets the nod for his finishing nous.
- Cuba: Friday, Oct. 11 at USA (7:06 pm ET | FS1, TUDN, UniMas in US)
- Canada: Tuesday, Oct. 15 vs. USA (7:30 pm ET | ESPN2, TUDN, UniMas in US)