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FT: Canada 1 - 3 Mexico (Gold Cup)

Is this that rare case where a loss is a win?

Canada v Martinique: Group A - 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Game Thread :

FT - Well, that happened. Stay tuned for lots of analysis and the hawt takes.

90+3’ - 3’ extra time. Not sure what to think. Is this that rare case where a loss is a win?

79’ - Yellow card issued to Mark Anthony Kaye for ... something.

78’ - GOAL! MEXICO! Davies gets caught out and Mexico makes us pay. Brace for Guardado. CAN 1 - 3 MEX. Heartbreaker.

75’ - GOAL! CANADA! Cavalini buries a gift from Jonathan David. Game ON! CAN 1 - 2 MEX.

74’ - Another great build up from Canada - ends up at Osorio’s feet, but the shot was lacking.

67’ - What. A. Chance. David has one touch too many on a breakaway.

65’ - Oso takes a shot! Canada putting on the pressure.

60’ - Canada Double Substitution OUT 7 Teibert / IN 21 Osorio and OUT 5 Johnson / IN 8 Arfield

57’ - Canada Substitution - OUT 9 Cyle Larin / IN 20 Jonathan David.Is Herdman showing his cards early under pressure?

55’ - GOAL! MEXICO! 1st half Sub Guardado with a wonder strike from outside the box. CAN 0 - 2 MEX. It’s his 11th in the gold cup and his 27th for his country.

54’ - Phonzie! So close! inches away from the equalizer.

46’ - 2nd half begins.

HT - Canada playing a defensive shape, and Larin not really doing it up top for Canada. Mexico are almost daring him to shoot. Canada have to be brave in the 2nd half. Hoillet? David? Arfield?

47’ - Great save from Milan Borzan to keep it 1-0 at the death.

45+1’ - Only one minute of extra time? You’ve been ... CONCACAF’ed.

40’- GOAL! MEXICO! Out of nothing. Roberto “Piojo” Alvarado jumps on a loose ball in the box and smashes it home.

39’ - Cornelius down in the Mexico box, Gutierrez looks to be capital-H Hurt. Gonna be some stoppage time methinks.

33’ - Guardado coming on for the injured Gutierrez, looks like he pulled a hamstring.

31’ - Herdman and Tata mixing it up on the sidelines.

28’ - Ladies and gentleman - Alphonso Davies. (and then Mexico had a dangerous counter - ho hum).

26’ - First decent attack by Canada. MAK is the lynchpin.

24’ - Not gonna lie - Just noticed Larin bleached his hair.

20’ - Mexico is knocking at the door. Superb defending from Cornelius.

15’ - Ooof.

11’ - Mexico takes a short corner, wasted chance. goes into touch on the opposite side and a throw-in for Canada.

8’ - Canada is weathering wave after wave of an endless Mexican attack.

1’ - OMG. Here we go ...

Interesting serendipity? purposeful cross-promotion? The latest episode of the Vocal Minority Podcast dropped at the EXACT moment of kickoff.

10:28PM - National Anthems begin ... please shine upon us, O soccer gods.

10:08PM - Are we playing a 3-4-3? with Larin as RW?

9:48PM - Martinique just put the lights out on Cuba (who are down to 10 men). 3 - 0 at the 86’

** See lineups below **

Best Guess?

Preview :

Tonight, we find out what is really under the Canadian men’s national team’s hood. Ever since John Herdman took over as manager of the team they have been cruising along, showing off their shiny new parts on mostly smooth open road.

Their first real test is now here, and boy is it a test. The highest ranked team Canada has played since Herdman took over is 119 ranked New Zealand. Tonight they face the top team in Concacaf, and 18th in the world, Mexico.

The road doesn’t get any less bumpy from there. Canada will have to play the game at altitude in Denver, favourable to Mexico as a result of their national team stadium, the Azteca, also being at altitude. Mexico are also fresh off thrashing Cuba 7-0.

Canada opened their tournament with a reasonably impressive 4-0 victory, but it was a flawed performance. For as much as Canada dominated (12-3 shots on target) Martinique forced three big saves out of Milan Borjan, and missed on a few other very good chances.

Mexico will not only create more chances, but they will also not let Canada get off the hook for defensive mistakes in the same way. They also won’t afford the Canadians a chance to recover from a slow start like Martinique did.

In that sense, Canada would do well to put out a less experimental backline. Doneil Henry’s health might be the biggest key to this game for Canada. If he’s available, it could prove massive. He has been outstanding this season for the Vancouver Whitecaps, and has experience playing against Mexico, including at the Azteca.

Even if he isn’t ready to go, it was pretty clear Atiba Hutchinson is not a great fit at centre back. His displacement also seemed to throw off Sam Piette, who looked positionally lost for most of the match against Martinique. With Canada already going makeshift at the left back position, it is not a recipe for success.

Up front, however, there are no shortage of reasons for optimism. For a team that nine years ago created just 0.71 expected goals over the course of an entire 2013 Gold Cup tournament, Canada looked lethal in attack. This was especially true in a dominant second half.

How will that attack look against a solid Mexican side that has yet to lose in 2019? Similarly, how will the shaky backline hold up against the best attack in the region, which has scored at least three goals in its past five games?

These are the questions national team fans have been waiting a while to see answered. The answers certainly won’t be definitive tonight - Canada can lose this game and still recover to have a successful tournament - but they are intriguing nonetheless.

How to Watch:

Match date/time: Wednesday, June 19, 10:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: TSN 1/4/5, RDS, Fox Sports

Live stream: TSN GO, RDS GO

WTR Staffer Predictions:

Benedict Rhodes - Mexico 2 - 1 Canada

Jeffrey P. Nesker - Mexico 1 - 2 Canada

Charlie O’Connor Clarke - Mexico 2 - 2 Canada

Mitchell Tierney - Mexico 1 - 1 Canada