Canada 6, Cuba 0 | 2019 Concacaf Nations League Match Recap
Junior Hoilett scored a hat trick to help lead Canada to a comfortable 6-0 win over Cuba in the opening match of the Concacaf Nations League A, Group A Saturday night at BMO Field.
Canada’s high pressure forced a turnover that led to Hoilett picking a ball off in the attacking third. An overlapping run by Jonathan David opened up space for Hoilett and the Cardiff City winger fired a low shot inside the near post to give Canada a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
David then doubled Canada’s lead on a stunning individual effort. He took Mark-Anthony Kaye’s long ball down with the outside of his foot, took a touch around Yosel Piedra and them pumped the brakes to avoid a sliding Erick Rizo before nutmegging goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez.
Sanchez robbed Alphonso Davies of a third goal four minutes later, diving to parry his first-time shot off the crossbar after the Bayern Munich midfielder ran on to a Richie Laryea service.
Miscommunication in the back in the 41st minute allowed Maykel Reyes an open shot from 12 yards out. But Milan Borjan dived to stop the low shot.
Hoilett bagged his second goal in the 50th minute, taking a terrific switch by Jonathan Osorio off his chest before firing low and inside the far post from just inside the 18-yard box.
Two minutes later, Hoilett returned the favor, slipping a ball to the back post where the Toronto FC midfielder slammed in after David put a shot off the post.
Vancouver Whitecaps central defender Doneil Henry got in on the fun with his first career international goal, poking out his left foot for the finish in the 65th minute and Hoilett had his hat trick with a cool finish from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute.
- 13’ — CAN — Junior Hoilett
- 21’ — CAN — Jonathan David
- 50’ — CAN — Junior Hoilett
- 52’ — CAN — Jonathan Osorio
- 65’ — CAN — Doneil Henry
- 82’ — CAN — Junior Hoilett (PK)
- THE BIG PICTURE: A lopsided win was expected and Canada delivered. Goal differential could become a factor so it was important to keep the foot on the pedal in a win needed for the CanMNT psyche in their first game since a stunning Gold Cup quarterfinal defeat to Haiti.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: David has been a thorn in Cuba’s side this calendar year. The scored a hat trick in a 7-0 Gold Cup group stage win and this brilliant goal was his eighth of 2019, setting a new Canadian record for goals in a year.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: He wore the captain’s armband and Hoilett led by example with three more goals against Cuba and also set up Osorio’s tally. Credit is also due to Mark-Anthony Kaye for bossing the midfield and Laryea also put in a strong shift.
- Cuba vs. Canada: Tuesday, September 10 at Cuba (7:15 pm ET | FloFC.com)