Canada remain undefeated in Concacaf Nations League qualifiers after a 1-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis. The win has the Canadian sitting in fifth place heading into the last match of qualifying. The top six advance to the Concacaf Nations League Group A, while the top ten qualify for this summer’s Gold Cup.
It wasn’t the prettiest win from the Canadian team but it was fairly comprehensive for a Concacaf away date on a less than stellar pitch. Canada’s midfield in particular was solid with Atiba Hutchinson scoring the lone goal and Russell Teibert almost certainly the man of the match.
Canada play their final match of qualifiers against French Guiana at home in March. There is a decent chance they could top the qualifying table as a number of the top teams play each other on the final matchday.
90’ - Jonathan David somehow goes bar down and out from in close. Canada have had chances to extend the gap but have not been able to do so.
81’ Not the most inspiring of halfs from Canada but they haven’t looked particularly under threat at any point which is a positive. Some decent half chances but Canada unable to get anything past the St. Kitts and Nevis.
63’ - Canada again dominant to start the second half. They came close to extending their lead through a back heel effort from Hutchinson. It is pretty clear Russell Teibert has been growing in confidence and has been pretty brilliant for Canada so far.
Half-time: A decent first half from Canada. They looked a little bit disjointed at times but were fairly good in possession and didn’t give up much the other way. Seem to have found something on the left with all the skill of Alphonso Davies and Ballou Tabla. That is an exciting combination going forward. The goal was definitely the highlight of the half, the culmination of a solid half from Russell Teibert.
44’ ATIBA! 1-0 Canada just before the half, an absolutely class ball from Russell Teibert and Atiba Hutchinson smashes home the header to open the scoring.
38’ Still all Canada in terms of possession, still little in terms of chances. Cavallini remains Canada’s biggest threat.
12’ Some good possession from the Canadians but no real solid chances just yet. Need to find a way through a very disciplined formation from St. Kitts but not a bad start in the least on the road.
Canada’s lineup is here, this is what Canada is looking like for today’s match. Very strong lineup, pretty close to the best 11 available to the national team right now, which is expected.
Borjan; Davies, Cornelius, Henry, Brault-Guillard; Hutchinson(C), Teibert, Piette; Hoilett, Tabla, Cavallini
The Canadian men’s national team will have to pass much bigger tests if they want to fulfill their ambition of being one of the top teams in the region. However, today’s match against St. Kitts and Nevis is certainly the biggest Canada has faced since John Herdman took over.
It has never been an easy away date on the Concacaf schedule. St. Kitts have also shown themselves to be in decent form during these Nations League qualifiers, scoring 11 goals and not conceding any so far.
There is a lot on the line for Canada in the game, irregardless of their opponent’s position in the FIFA rankings. A win and Canada are sitting pretty to advance to the A division of Concacaf Nations League and are almost guaranteed a spot in the Gold Cup this summer.
So while we won’t see the full picture, today will give us a little bit of a better idea of this team’s true colours. Canada hasn’t really been forced to defend yet, played in a tough venue or faced a team nearly as organized as St. Kitts yet.
Herdman and Canada certainly aren’t taking this game lightly as a result. There have been all sorts of investment both in terms of financially and in terms of time put in during training for this match that underline its importance.
Whether that also means taking a more defensive approach on the field — Herdman has lined up the past two games with only two natural defenders — remains to be seen. Either way this should be a night where national team supporters pay close attention.
How to Watch
Match date/time: Sunday, November 18, 7:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Concacaf Go