Recap: CANMNT begins 2023 with a ‘professional performance’

Mar 26, 2023 - 2:24 PM
Sean Pollock/Waking The Red

Two first half goals from both Canadian strikers earned Les Rouges a comfortable 2-0 victory against Curaçao and top spot in Group C heading into Tuesday night.

Canada started the match well, controlling the play well and creating chances for their two in-form strikers. It wasn’t until the 23rd minute when Canada was able to break through the Curaçao defence.

With Alistair Johnston unavailable for Saturday night’s matchup due to suspension, it created an opportunity for Toronto FC fullback Richie Laryea. Laryea was able to find Ligue 1’s leading goalscorer, Jonathan David, who made no mistake poking the ball home.

Despite the goal, Curaçao was not going anywhere and were doing their best to give Canada a problem. However, after picking up two yellows in the first half, defender Jurien Gaari was sent off and Curaçao was down to 10 men.

Right before half-time, Canada’s other in-form striker, Cyle Larin, doubled the Canadians’ advantage when David found Larin who slotted past Curaçao goalkeeper, Eloy Room.

Speaking after the game, John Herdman, who himself was suspended after picking up a red card in the last round of games, spoke about how effective his goal scorers had been on Saturday night.

“They’ve partnered well. You can see, they’re starting to read off of each other in the front two,” said Herdman about David and Larin’s partnership.

Herdman will be hoping for more of the same from his strokers as they eye a matchup against Honduras on Tuesday night.

Unsurprisingly, with Curaçao down to 10, Les Rouges controlled the majority of the play in the second half and will be disappointed that they are not leaving Willemstad without more goals.

It is a testament to this Canadian side that despite Alphonso Davies not having his best night in a Canadian shirt, Les Rouges were able to comfortably take care of business.

With three points all but confirmed, Canada was able to start looking ahead to Tuesday night and rest many of its key attackers while providing valuable minutes to midfielders Atiba Hutchinson, Mark-Anthony Kaye, and Tajon Buchanan.

Buchanan, who was questionable to play on Saturday as he recovers from a hamstring injury, was able to play that last 15 minutes without any incidents.

With the win, Canada now leads Group C, on goal difference, and sets up a showdown with Honduras on Tuesday night. With a spot in this year’s Gold Cup now clinched, Canada will need just one point to secure top spot in Group C and for a chance to play in the CONCACAF Nations League Final in June.

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