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Canada 2-0 Jamaica: Alphonso Davies’ red card overshadows friendly win

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Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Jonathan Osorio scored before an ugly moment for the 16-year-old.

Jamaica v Canada: Quarterfinal - 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

There it was, all moving along so smoothly.

Canada were cruising to a comfortable 2-0 win over Jamaica at BMO Field on Saturday night when Alphonso Davies entered the field as a 70th-minute substitute.

Six minutes later, the Vancouver Whitecaps phenom was heading back off having been shown a red card for a violent kick out at a Jamaican player after being brought down by a sliding tackle.

It marks the first bump in the road in the 16-year-old’s promising young career and to put it bluntly, it happens.

Davies’ reaction to the challenge was unacceptable and he deserved to be sent off, even in a friendly, but it is not as if we have not seen behaviour like this before from teenage prodigies thrust into the spotlight.

He is, let us not forget, a teenager.

Before that, anyway, Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Jonathan Osorio had bolstered their cases for places in the starting lineup by scoring the goals in the 2-0 win.

Jackson-Hamel and Osorio each had a club teammate - Samuel Piette and Raheem Edwards respectively - in the XI at BMO Field as Octavio Zambrano extended the auditions of some of the younger players in his squad.

None of the four, in addition to QPR right-back Michael Petrasso, did their chances going forward any harm.

But it was a more experienced member of the squad who caught the eye the most in Cardiff City winger Junior Hoilett.

Hoilett engineered Jackson-Hamel’s opening goal by intercepting the ball in a dangerous area and slotting a low pass across the six-yard box for the Montreal Impact striker to convert.

Jackson-Hamel then turned provider with a clever flick through his legs that allowed Osorio to advance on Andre Blake. He finished coolly.

Those goals put Canada firmly in control against a Jamaican side that played as if it had left most of its energy at the Gold Cup, where Theodore Whitmore’s men were losing finalists.

Atiba Hutchinson was tidy on his return to the midfield, completing 92% of his passes in 64 minutes before being substituted, and Jayson Leutwiler made a couple of timely saves to indicate he may be an able long-term successor to Milan Borjan.

Areas for improvement include the centre of defence, which looks set to remain a problem with no obvious solution. Manjrekar James was shaky and we did not see Sporting Kansas City’s Amer Didic from the bench.

Cyle Larin underwhelmed after coming on at half-time and Sam Adekugbe barely lasted longer than Davies as a sub due to what looked like a muscle injury.

But the 21,724 fans at BMO Field went home happy despite that and Davies’ misstep.