Dominica 0, Canada 2 | World Cup Qualifying Match Recap
Canada got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a solid – if unspectacular – start on Thursday, topping Dominica 2-0 on the road in the opening match of their two-legged series against the Caribbean nation.
Orlando City striker Cyle Larin and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert had the goals, with Larin getting things going with an early strike and later earning a penalty kick that allowed Teibert to double Canada’s advantage in the 64th.
The two sides will meet again next Tuesday in the return leg at BMO Field, with Canada needing a win, draw or one-goal loss to advance to CONCACAF’s third round of qualifying.
Larin gave Canada the lead in the fifth minute, running onto a Tosaint Ricketts through ball on the right side of the box and slotting his 1-v.-1 chance past Dominica goalkeeper Glenson Prince for Larin's second career international goal. Teibert made it 2-0 in the 64th, burying a penalty kick after Larin drew a foul in the box. The 22-year-old Whitecaps midfielder tucked his penalty kick inside the left post, just beating the diving Prince, for his first career international tally.
Canada could have easily walked away with several more goals. Larin had multiple chances to score a second but could not quite get on the end of numerous promising crosses from Teibert, Ricketts and FC Dallas’ Canadian-American attacker Tesho Akindele, who became cap-tied to Canada with his first senior international cap. Teibert also nearly added another tally, seeing a cross bounce through the box and hit off the post in the 68th minute.
Things got somewhat interesting in the 80th minute, when Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan was sent off for deliberately handling a goal-bound shot outside the box after former Toronto FC Designated Player Julian de Guzman turned the ball over to give Dominica a breakaway. Borjan, who will be suspended for the second leg, was replaced in goal by AIK ‘keeper Kenny Stamatopolous.
Despite being down a man, Canada was able to see out the contest without too much trouble, maintaining their two-goal advantage ahead of next week’s second leg in Toronto.
Manager Benito Floro started four MLS players, with New York Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette slotting in at left back, Teibert lining up in central midfield, Akindele starting on the left wing and Larin leading the line as a lone striker.
Montreal Impact midfielder Maxim Tissot also saw some time, subbing in for Akindele in the 73rd minute. Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson and Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan did not feature.
Canada: Milan Borjan; Nik Ledgerwood, Adam Straith, James Manjrekar, Karl Ouimette; Samuel Piette; Tosaint Ricketts, Julian de Guzman, Russell Teibert (Kenny Stamatopoulos 82), Tesho Akindele (Maxim Tissot 74); Cyle Larin (Randy Edwini-Bonsu 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Lars Hirschfeld, Mallan Roberts, Will Johnson, Jonathan Osorio, Marcus Haber, Nana Attakora, Ashtone Morgan, David Edgar.
Head coach: Benito Floro
Dominica: Glenson Prince; Malcolm Joseph, Hubert Prince, Kervin Lawrence, Julian Wade, Glenworth Elizee, Sidney Lockhart (Naeille Lee 75), Egbert Walsh, Chad Bertrand (Anthernee Frederick 81), Briel Thomas, Joslyn Prince (Randolph Peltier 37).
Substitutes Not Used: Aldrin Lawrence, Kurtney McKenzie, Mitchell Joseph, Travist Joseph, Raleighson Pascal, Bert Casimir, Darlton Bannis, Owen Oscar, Stuart Scotie Phillip.
Head coach: Shane Marshall
Stats: USA / COL
Shots: 8 / 24
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 /4
Fouls: 17 / 16
Offside: 1 / 2
CAN - Milan Borjan (ejection) 80
Referee: Jeffrey Solis (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Carlos Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Osvaldo Luna (CRC)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Montero (CRC)