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El Salvador 0, Canada 0 | CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Match Recap

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – The Canadian national team will be pleased with a successful opening two games of the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Canada followed up their 1-0 victory Friday over Honduras with a scoreless draw Tuesday night under tough conditions against El Salvador at Estadio Cuscatlan.

The result leaves Canada alone in second place in Group 1 behind Mexico but ahead of Honduras and El Salvador. Canada play Mexico twice in March when qualifying resumes.

Though they’ll likely be modestly pleased with a point, they still had chances for a win if not for a few good scoring opportunities that were squandered.

Cyle Larin had a pair of good chances, both coming late in each half. In the 42nd minute, the Orlando City SC striker and recently crowned MLS Rookie of the Year had a header bang off the crossbar. And in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, he forced a turnover but saw his tight-angle shot go into the side-netting.

Junior Hoilett also had a good chance in the first half when he raced onto a loose ball, but his 17th-minute chip over the goalkeeper went wide.

Will Johnson, the Portland Timbers captain, buzzed the crossbar with a right-footed blast from distance in first-half stoppage.

At the other end, Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan also played well as he was sharp when called upon, recording three saves.

Dustin Corea had arguably the two best chances for El Salvador. With 10 minutes left in the first half, the Los Angeles-born, Portland, Ore.-raised forward who plies his trade with FC Edmonton was played through on the right side and saw his tight-angle shot saved by Borjan.

Nine minutes into the second half, Corea’s curling left-footer was palmed by Borjan for a corner kick.

Julian de Guzman set a new Canadian appearances record with his 85th appearance as he started and was substituted in the second half, breaking the former record set by Paul Stalteri.

El Salvador will be back in action in March with a pair of games against Honduras.

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