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Preview: Canada face Suriname to determine who advances to the second round of WCQ

Progression is in Canada’s hands now for 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.

Canada v Cuba: Group A - 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup (Vega/Getty)

The Canadian men’s national team are just 90 minutes away from a place in the second of FIFA World Cup Qualifying and will just need to ensure they do not lose to Suriname in order to progress. Both nations are level on nine points after three wins from three, but Canada are seven clear on goal difference, a major advantage in the context of this fixture.

Kickoff is set for 9:05 p.m. EST at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. The game will be available to stream on OneSoccer.

Comprehensive victories over Bermuda (5-1), the Cayman Islands (11-0) and Aruba (7-0) have given Canada the upper hand with regards to who will advance to the second round from Group B. Suriname have matched Canada’s 3-0-0 record following a 3-0 win against the Cayman Islands and two 6-0 victories over Aruba and Bermuda respectively.

Ultimately, If Canada win or draw, the Reds will progress, but if Suriname triumph by any scoreline, they will move on to the next round and Canada’s WCQ campaign will come to an end. It’s totally in Canada’s hands now, but John Herdman will surely be wary of Suriname’s dynamic style of play.

The eventual winner of Group B will face either Haiti or Nicaragua in the second round, which will be in the form of a two-legged tie.

Suriname have scored 15 goals in three games and have also yet to concede a single goal. Their man-in-form is surely none other than Nigel Hasselbaink, the nephew of English Premier League legend Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink. The 30-year-old has scored hat-tricks in his last two games for his country, including one this past weekend against Bermuda. He currently leads the overall first round scoring charts with six goals, just one ahead of Lucas Cavallini and Cyle Larin, who have each scored five.

On Saturday, Canada thrashed Aruba 7-0 thanks to a first-half brace from Cavallini and goals each from Junior Hoilett, Zachary Braut-Guillard, Alphonso Davies, Larin and Jonathan David. Of Canada’s six different goalscorers, four of them were off the bench (Braut-Guillard, Davies, Larin, David).

Having rested many of his star players for the win over Aruba, Herdman is expected to start the likes of Davies, David, Larin, Richie Laryea, Samuel Piette and Milan Borjan against Suriname.

Larin’s strike against Aruba made him the second joint-all time top scoring Canadian in WCQ history. The Besiktas forward is now level with Dale Mitchell and Dwayne De Rosario on nine goals, and just two behind Alex Bunbury’s 11 WCQ goals for Canada. David has also had his shooting boots on for the national team, as his goal against Aruba was his 12th in 13 games for Canada.

Another player who has posed quite the attacking threat for Canada is Cavallini. The Vancouver Whitecaps striker has now bagged 16 goals in 20 appearances for the national team following his double against Aruba. Cavallini is now seven goals away from taking De Rosario’s spot as the Canadian national team’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Defensively, Canada has only conceded one goal in three games, with a clean sheet against Suriname essentially all the Reds need to progress to the second round.

This match will be the second meeting in history between Canada and Suriname, as their first clash took place all the way back in 1977 during the CONCACAF Championship. Goals from Les “Buzz” Parsons and Milovan Bakić helped Canada to a 2-1 victory in the two nations’ second game of the tournament.

When speaking to the media on Saturday, Herdman said that the Suriname clash will be no easy task for his side: “This is a good team. We’re going to have to be on our A game.”

Canada’s head coach also spoke on how he’s spoilt for choice in terms of players ahead of Tuesday’s crucial game: “We’ve got some good players in good rhythm.

“That gives me a lot of options to either start the game or finish the game against Suriname.”

Many are touting this match as Canada’s biggest soccer game in years, so expect Herdman’s men to have eyes on nothing but moving another step closer to Qatar 2022.