Canada beats Qatar 2:0 in first international friendly game
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National team defeated Qatar 2:0 in its first friendly of the international break. The match marked the first time ever that Canada faced Qatar at the international “A” level, with Qatar the hosts for the coming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and Canada the co-hosts for the FIFA World Cup 2026™.
“You can see that there is a joy of being back together, an excitement to get out there and play,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “They looked like they were having fun out there.”
Cyle Larin and Jonathan David did the scoring in the first half while Alistair Johnston earned Gatorade Performance of the Match. Milan Borjan posted his sixth clean sheet of the season, a new personal best and just one off the Men’s National Team record. He also featured in his 66th career international appearance, a new record for Men’s National Team goalkeepers.
Canada largely dominated the match, controlling possession and keeping Qatar pinned in their half. It didn’t take long for Canada to open the scoring when Cyle Larin headed home a Sam Adekugbe cross in the fourth minute.
Jonathan David skipped past two Qatar midfielders before playing a pass into the feet of Alphonso Davies at the top of the 18-yard box. Davies sent it wide to Adekugbe, who delivered a left-footed cross to Larin who put it passed the keeper. Less than 10 minutes later, Jonathan David put Canada up by two when Kamal Miller whipped in a cross that was punched out by Qatar’s keeper Saad Abdulla M E Alsheeb. The ball found its way to the feet of Jonathan David in the six-yard box, and he side-footed his shot into the net.
Midfielder Stephen Eustáquio looked to drop deep and pick up the ball, allowing Alistair Johnston to get forward. Eustáquio displayed his passing abilities as he sprayed long passes across the field, often switching the play. Steven Vitória held down the backline, allowing left-sided centre-back Kamal Miller and right-sided centre-back Alistair Johnston to advance forward. Miller’s forward runs played a large part in the team’s second goal.
The two-goal lead gave Canada comfort and goalkeeper Milan Borjan was ready when called upon. Borjan made two important stops early on and rushed 40-yards out of his goal to clear a ball that was sent in behind the backline.
In the second half, Canada took the opportunity to rest its starters and use its squad depth by making six substitutions. Charles-Andreas Brym, Richie Laryea, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Ismaël Koné, Liam Millar and Iké Ugbo all made an appearance in the second half.
Miller hit the crossbar in the second half after a dangerous free kick from Canada fell to his feet. The team looked to score more goals but couldn’t put another in the net despite their many chances.
Ahead of this winter’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Canada will play one more away international “A” match during the September international window in Europe. Canada will face FIFA World Cup finalists Uruguay on Tuesday 27 September at Stadion Tehelné pole in Bratislava, Slovakia.
“We have a tough test, but after four years of playing Concacaf opponents, the players have been dreaming of playing a nation of the stature of Uruguay,” said Herdman. “We’ve been waiting for it and we’re excited, but we have to temper that because of the quality that they have. We will need to put the work in for the next few days to make sure we are ready to go again.”
Canada’s match-up with Uruguay will be broadcast live on OneSoccer, available as a linear channel on Telus’s Optik TV (Channel 980) as well as online at OneSoccer.ca, through the OneSoccer app and on the fuboTV Canada platform. Fans will find extended coverage for the matches across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube featuring the hashtag #CANMNT.
CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are the reigning Kings of Concacaf, having finished first overall in the Concacaf Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers from September 2021 to March 2022. It marked the third time that Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team won a Concacaf title, having previously won the 1985 Concacaf Championship and the 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup. Canada now look forward to their second participation at the men’s FIFA World Cup with group matches against Belgium on 23 November, Croatia on 27 November, and Morocco on 1 December.
Director, Communications | Directeur, Communications
m. +1 613.818.0305
Women’s National Team Communications Manager |
Responsable des communications de l’équipe nationale féminine
m. +1 613.402.3869
Communications Coordinator | Coordonnatrice des communications