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17-year-old Nelson makes senior debut as Canada inches closer to the Hex with win over Barbados

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A number of new faces represented les rouges for the first time

Canada v New Zealand - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 Photo by Buda Mendes - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The Canadian men’s national team inched slightly closer to sixth-place El Salvador, and a spot in the Hex round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying, after a 4-1 win over Barbados. The friendly kicks off a trio of games they will play in January with the hope of acquiring as many FIFA points in possible.

John Herdman used the match to give several players their international debuts. This included 17-year-old Toronto FC II star Jayden Nelson, who was this year’s Canadian men’s U-17 player of the year.

Theo Bair of the Vancouver Whitecaps scored on his Canada debut, while Charles-Andreas Byrm, Noble Okello and Shamit Shome also received their first senior international camp.

Tosaint Ricketts opened the scoring for Canada, tapping home the rebound after Tesho Akindele had hit the post. It was the veteran striker’s 17th goal for his country, as he passes Alex Bunbury to be alone at fourth all-time.

Akindele would add one of his own later in the half, controlling a flicked header from Jay Chapman before swiveling and volleying home.

Barbados struck next, as a 35th minute penalty kick saw Barbados make the score 2-1 through Armando Lashley. It was the first goal Barbados has scored on Canada, with their last and only other meeting coming in a 2004 friendly

Les Rouges were able to restore their two goal cushion in first-half stoppage time, as a cutback from Chapman found Osorio. The Toronto FC midfielder smashed the ball home from the top of the box.

Bair added the fourth goal for Canada in the second half after some good work by fellow debutant Byrm forced a rebound. The goal came in the 77th minute.

Canada plays Barbados again on Friday night, before finishing up their camp with a big match against Iceland next Wednesday. Both matches will be available to watch on the Canada Soccer website.