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CONCACAF Rewind: Canada rolls past Panama, Jamaica claims first win, and more


Canada fell down early in Toronto to visiting Panama, but eventually hit back and rolled to an important three points to close October’s World Cup Qualifying window.

Alphonso Davies and Tajon Buchanan each scored in the second half as Canada rolled to a 4-1 victory to move into third place.

Rolando Blackburn needed only five minutes to break the deadlock at BMO Field, putting John Herdman’s side on the back foot early. Michael Murillo’s pass was slotted home by Blackburn down the middle of the goal and giving Panama an early advantage.

However, Canada would equalize in the 27th minute with Murillo playing a huge part in the equalizer. Davies’ corner kick was headed towards goal by Buchanan, but the wingback’s deflection his Murillo and scattered into the back of the net.

Canada’s pressure eventually paid off in the 65th minute as Davies’ left-footed finish capped off a counter attack for the hosts. Davies won possession on the right wing before cutting inside on his left foot and drilling home his shot into the bottom-right corner.

Buchanan extended Canada’s advantage to 3-1 in the 70th minute after heading home Richie Laryea’s cross before David added an insurance goal in the 77th. Davies’ cross was stroked home by the Lille forward to give the home fans a fourth goal to cheer about.

Canada leapfrogged Panama in the standings to third place while Panama dropped to fourth with the defeat.

Honduras 0, Jamaica 2

(Kemar Roofe 38′, Oniel Fisher 79′)

Jamaica claimed its first win of the octagonal round, using goals in each half to down winless Honduras 2-0 on the road.

Luis Lopez made four saves in the opening 35 minutes for Honduras, but was unable to keep Kemar Roofe from scoring his first international goal for the Reggae Boyz. Shamar Nicholson connected with Roofe in the attacking third and the Rangers forward hit a high shot into the roof of the net.

Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake kept Honduras at bay with a trio of second-half saves before Jamaica locked up the three points. Oniel Fisher’s first international goal found the bottom-right corner in the 78th minute, giving Theodore Whitmore’s side a needed victory.

Blake finished with five saves to earn the clean sheet as Jamaica moved from last place to sixth in the standings.

El Salvador 0, Mexico 2

(Hector Moreno 30, Raul Jimenez 90+3′)

Mexico remained top of the group standings after grinding out a 2-0 win at El Salvador.

Hector Moreno opened the scoring in the 30th minute, heading home a cross from Jesus Corona into the bottom-right corner. The goal silenced the home crowd and gave El Tri an early cushion on the road.

El Salvador was deducted to 10-men in the 47th minute after left back Mario Jacobo was sent off for pulling down Rogelio Funes Mori on a last man challenge.

Mexico was also reduced to 10-men in the 66th minute as Nestor Araujo picked up a second yellow card for a tackle on Alexander Larin. Regardless, El Tri would add a goal in stoppage time as Raul Jimenez netted his first tally since returning to the fold.

Eduardo Vigil hacked down Jimenez in the box and the Wolves striker made no mistake with the ensuing spot kick. El Tri stays three points clear of the USMNT for first place while Hugo Perez’s side are seventh.


  1. So if we beat Mexico in Cincinnati we will be tied with Mexico on points at the half-way mark of WC qualifying. That is not much of a stretch given the USA beat Mexico twice already this year in consequential games.

    OTOH, both Tata and Berhalter should be fired because they did not win all their games in qualifying, falling short of their fans’ expectations.

    • November shows some promise for good results for the US. It is a 2-game window, so less worry about game fatigue. The top players can play the 1st game against Mexico with less worry about rotation. And the 2nd game, while away, is at Jamaica, where with some 2nd half squad rotation has the likelihood of a good result. On paper, one has to feel positive.

  2. I am now told what happened to us is inevitable, however Mexico and CR managed precisely the road point away to Panama that we did not. There are two ways to read this. Mexico is better than us so they achieved a better result. Or, even CR could do it.

    Similarly, Mexico beat ES at their place last night, and mediocre Honduras managed the same scoreless road tie to ES we did. Again, are we “worse than Mexico?” Are we “as bad as Honduras?”

    These questions are designed to unsettle. If you do not accept Mexican superiority, or equality with Honduras or CR, then you have to ask why we didn’t achieve the same results despite having a “better” or at least “equal” team.

    This suggests what I will politely express as “suboptimality.” (1) If you look at the results of the team right in front of us in the standings that you deny is a better team, they are getting precisely the results the excuse makers tell me I am unfair to ask of my own team. “Don’t you get how hard this is?” (2) Having seen the results are clearly suboptimal should then prompt the begged “why” question that follows. Why am I still on the coach? Hmmm. Exactly. Thanks.

    • Mexico played Panama in the third game of the first window. Panama doesn’t have much depth and can’t rotate players. The teams that aren’t rotating players aren’t doing well in the third games. Panama had to make three subs at the 53rd minute against Canada because they had players that were gassed. The score was 1-1 when they had to mass sub and Canada got 3 of their goals after the subs. Canada had 5 different starters against Jamaica and rested players just like the US did against Panama. Similarly, Mexico played ES in third game and ES is equally thin and have done poorly in each third game so its not apples to apples. Incidentally, the shedule has been qiute favorable to Canada and will be even more favorable next window when they get two home games with historically tough opponents (Mex and CR) so they dont have to between games which is a significant advantage IMO.

    • I’ll give you a simple, if, perhaps, unsatisfactory answer. They had a bad game, away, at Panama, with a sub-optimal team necessitated by rotation and a desire to have 6 points from two home games.

  3. Canada is scary good right now. Walked out of US and Mexico with draws. That has to be the toughest schedule out of the Octagonal to date.

    • As I said on the other thread, do they have a “golden generation?” Or does this suggest 2-3 really good players plus a handful of decent players, well-coached, can somehow be put within a point of us in the standings, when we are loaded, with all this implies for our efficient use of talent.

      • That’s a tough question. As for coaching Herdman has a tendency to overthink things and has been punished in the past in competitive matches. Have Eustaquio get a yellow and miss US group stage match so he’d be clear for knockouts that then put them on Mexico’s side of the bracket. Rested players in 2019 GC against Haiti for the semi which they didn’t make because they lost to Haiti. Playing Davies at LB in NL where he was pinned deep most of the night and were eliminated. He’s a good manager but sometimes a la Berhalter he tries to make things harder.
        Golden Generation wise I’d say everyone in their starting 11 would start for any of their teams in the past 25 years so although the top 3 are amazing the rest are better than they’ve ever had too just lower ceiling maybe than the stars. Those stars have also attracted dual nats that might have missed on in the past or gotten later in their careers. David, Davies, Buchanan are all you young they’ll be a force for awhile, just need to start developing some CBs. MLS has helped them tremendously. People underestimate the value of them going through the early qualifying rounds for NL and WCQ. They had mostly walkovers but it gave their guys lots of time together to train and “build the group” as 3G would say, and get used to Concacaf environments.

  4. Good on Canada and Jamaica (and the U.S.), but let us all realize that the Central American teams are all at an incredible nadir right now (seriously, ES might be the best of the bunch and that’s saying something), so if the the top 3 when this is all said-and-done aren’t the North American teams…expect firings.

    Still can’t get over that Panama game…thanks Gregg.


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