Canada earn well-deserved point in Mexico City in World Cup qualifier

Jonathan Osorio goal gives visitors big lift

Jonathan Osorio (left) celebrates scoring the equalizer with Alphonso Davies (right) the man who got the assist. (photo by CanadaSoccer) 

Jonathan Osorio’s goal late in the first half helped send Canada to a historic point at Mexico’s Azteca Stadium on Thursday night.

The 1-1 draw kept the Canadians undefeated in CONCACAF World Cup final round qualifying, sitting on six points through four games, good for third overall.

Top three make the Qatar World Cup next year, with the fourth entering a final playoff.

This is only the second time Canada has taken a point at Azteca in eight games.

It says something of the expectations they place on themselves that coach John Herdman was not entirely thrilled.

“It could of been three points, so I’m content but not happy,” said Herdman, in a post-match interview. “We wanted to win here and be that first team that took three points.”

Mexico started the game brightly and converted a swift counter attack into an early goal as wing-back, Jorge Sanchez put the Mexicans up one in the 21st minute.

This young Canadian side did not crumble after conceding, and would control much of the play after picking the ball out of the back of their net.

At the 42nd minute mark, great resilience and slick ball movement broke down the Mexican defence as Alphonso Davies provided his 14th assist for his nation by slotting in Jonathan Osorio who rolled the ball into the corner for his first goal for Canada since July, to level the game at one a piece.

“A very special goal for myself and just happy to help the team,” said the Toronto FC midfielder post-game. “It was just pure joy and actually gave us confidence that we were going to win this game.”

As the visitors attempted to get their first-ever victory at the Estadio Azteca, there was some expectation that the Mexicans would control the contest with ease but according to Osorio, that was certainly not the case. 

“We wanted more from it, we believe we are a team that could of taken three points from this game,” said the goal-scorer. “We will learn from this and take the point and move forward.”

Canada played exceptionally well and dominated the first-half, showing great resilience to recover and perform after going down 1-0 in front of a rowdy Mexican crowd. 

In the opening 45, the Canadians created seven chances opposed to Mexico’s four, Canada forced Mexico to defend a lot more than expected and arguably could have been ahead in this game. 

The Canadians struggled to find their rhythm in the second-half, as Mexico found themselves having a couple of great chances.

Canadian keeper Maxime Crepeau received the start over usual number one Milan Borjan, who is still recovering from COVID, and the Whitecaps goalie came up with some quality stops to play a big part in earning Canada a point.

As the contest reached the 65th minute mark, Mexico continued to create chances. Wolverhampton forward, Raul Jimenez was able to shrug off Steven Vitoria to put one in the back of the net, but the shrug was deemed too aggressive by the ref who disallowed the goal.

With the final 20 minutes not providing much action offensively, Canada closed the game out to record a well-earned draw in Mexico City.

Tajon Buchanan, the 22-year-old Brampton native, was brilliant for Canada tonight and shows why he is tipped as such a promising young player. 

After receiving yellow cards in the match, Buchanan, Richie Laryea, and Vitoria will all be forced to miss Canada’s upcoming fixture against Jamaica.

This performance should give the Reds momentum heading into the game against the Jamaicans who sit at last place in the group. 

That match will be played on Sunday in Kingston, Jamaica, at Independence Park.

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Posted: Oct 11 2021 4:06 pm
Filed under: Soccer Sports