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FT: Canada 1-2 Mexico—Gold Cup semifinal game thread, preview & how to watch

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Les Rouges are 90 minutes away from a first major final in over 20 years. Follow along all of the action on our live match thread!

Mexico v Canada: Semifinals - 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Live Match Thread

FT: Canada 1-2 Mexico

90+9—GOAL! Mexico snag a late winner. Wow.

90+4’—BIG SAVE from Maxime Crepeau! He turns away a point-blank header. Wow.

90’—Game getting back underway here. Seven minutes of added time.

88’—Embarrassing.

77’—CHANCE! Buchanan sets up Corbeanu, who almost bends one in far post. That would have been special. Liam Fraser checking into the game now for MAK.

69’—Theo Corbeanu is checking into the game for Tesho Akindele. Here we go.

68’—Eustaquio is down and in A LOT of pain. Oh boy. He seems to be alright though, scary moment for the midfielder. Man, this game is NUTS.

67’—SAVE! Maxime Crepeau says no!!!! He saves the penalty!!!!

65’—PENALTY! Mexico awarded a penalty after a VAR check. MAK appeared to clip is defender on the absolute corner of the box on a nothing play. Wow.

64’—Another check for a possible penalty on Canada...

57’—GOAAAALLLLLLLLL! TAJON BUCHANAN! HE DRIVES IN ON HIS OWN AND FIRES ONE FAR POST. THIS GAME IS TIED! WHAT A GOAL!

56’—Solid start to the second half for Canada. Tajon Buchanan is playing higher up the pitch, and he’s looked dangerous. John Herdman’s side looks a lot more willing to press, and rightfully so, trailing by one. Can they find that one moment of magic though?

46’—We’re back! Canada look hungry coming out of the break, as Tajon Buchanan gets a chance, driving wide past his defender before hitting a low shot in on net, leading to a rebound. No one is there to tap home, however.

HT: Canada 0 - 1 Mexico

45+6—Really deflating moment there for Canada, who had such a good first half prior to that one error. Massive halftime talk coming up for John Herdman.

45+1—GOAL! Mexico takes the lead as Pineda hesitates before slotting home.

45’—PENALTY! After a VAR check, Mexico is awarded a penalty following a clumsy challenge from Doneil Henry. That was a penalty.

43’—Crazy scenes as a Mexican attacker may have been taken down in the box, but the referee says no. Moments later, Richie Laryea is taken down, and then starts a scrum. VAR is taking a look at both the penalty shout and the scrum. Wow.

37’—Junior Hoilett is down now holding his knee. He’s going to need attention. Let’s hope he’s alright to continue, as he’s been great, all over the pitch, and not backing down from any tackles. And it looks like el capitan is good to continue.

34’—Great minds think alike! As PaceyWinger writes in the comments:

“Can we just marvel how great things are on the left side of the defense with the emergence of Miller and Kennedy? All of a sudden very strong.”

33’—Kamal Miller appreciation post.

30’—Second time tonight Mexico have tried to lob Crepeau. Something they’ve noticed?

26’—CHANCE! Jonathan Osorio somehow keeps the ball in on the touchline in the Mexican box, ends up in a 2v1, but he couldn’t find the final pass. Real chance there for Canada.

22’—Interesting moment here, as Maxime Crepeau is down. Not sure what happened there, but he’s getting treatment on his foot. Jayson Leutwiler is warming up, but Crepeau is going to try and play on.

20’—Former Waking the Red Managing Editor Oli Platt is live at NRG Stadium with OneSoccer — and he says it’s very, very loud.

17’—CHANCE! First real chance of the match, as Hoilett quickly lobs a ball ahead for Tesho Akindele, who manages to hold up play before laying the ball off for Stephen Eustaquio, but the Leamington, Ontario native’s shot goes over the crossbar. Both teams are getting their chances here despite Mexico maintaining the majority of possession.

16’—Scary moment for Canada as a cross is whipped into the box, Funes Mori brings the ball down off his chest, and volleys towards the net, however, Doneil Henry is there to make the massive block.

13’—A great run forward from Richie Laryea! He rounds the corner past a sliding Mexican defender, but his last touch is just a bit too strong, as the goalkeeper comes out strong to collect. Laryea down injured on the play...but he’ll be alright. He’s as tough as they come. Best chance of the match for Canada early on.

9’—First half chance as Steven Eustaquio is stripped of possession in the midfield, leading to a Mexican counter attack. A shot from 23 yards out or so is comfortably saved by Crepeau.

8’—As expected, Mexico dictating the pace of play. Canada are willing to sit back and concede possession. Very quiet start to this match from both sides.

5’—Scary moment for Canada, as Tajon Buchanan goes down before walking off with a limp. He seems to be alright — lost his shoe on the play!

1’—We are off. Allez Les Rouges!

10:14 pm ET—One player I guarantee will be up for this one: Jonathan Osorio.

10:10 pm ET—National anthems, here we go. Always love seeing what it means to all of these young men to represent Canada, and their body language during the anthems always seems to gives you a sense of that. Canadian players singing along — loud and proud.

10:00 pm ET—Sold out crowd tonight of 60,000 fans, majority of them Mexican. How will the Canadians react? Kickoff time is set for 10:15 pm ET.

9:57 pm ET—As John Herdman just said, these are nights that come along once every few years. Goosebumps.

9:53 pm ET—KJ on the OneSoccer broadcast is a beautiful thing. As usual, tremendous insight.

9:45 pm ET—This could be the biggest Canadian men’s national team match in over a decade, and what a special night for Canada Soccer in general, as the Canadian women’s national team will take on Brazil in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games hours after the conclusion of tonight’s match, as kickoff is set for 4 am ET for that one. Set your alarms!

9:35 pm ET—Welcome back to a special live match thread as the Canadian men’s national team are trying to accomplish what hasn’t been done in over 20 years: reach a Gold Cup Final! The only thing that stand between them and Sunday’s final is a very dangerous Mexican side, a team Canada hasn’t beat since 2000—and we all know what happened that year. Will history repeat itself? Allez Les Rouges!


Starting XIs

Two changes for Canada tonight as Doneil Henry and Tesho Akindele check in for the suspended Lucas Cavallini and Steven Vitoria:

Here’s how Mexico will line up tonight vs. Canada:


Preview (via Anthony Khoury)

The progress of the Canadian men’s national team over the last few years has been nothing but immense. Following Gold Cup group stage exits in 2011 and 2013, as well as disappointing quarter-final defeats in 2017 and 2019, John Herdman has propelled this Canada side to the 2021 Gold Cup semifinals while playing some of the most attractive football the program has seen in years.

Canada’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica in the quarter-finals on Sunday has been touted as one of the best performances in the history of the men’s national team. A dominant display in Arlington, Texas has now set up a mouth-watering clash with Mexico in the last four.

Kickoff is set for 10:00 pm EST at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, with the game available to stream on OneSoccer.

Midfield maestro Stephen Eustáquio once again stole the show against Costa Rica with a goal and an assist. He has now bagged three in three games and as a result, became the fourth Canadian in history to score in three separate matches at a Gold Cup.

The 24-year-old is the joint-second top scorer (shared with six players at the moment) in the tournament, just one goal behind Qatar’s Almoez Ali. Along with Eustáquio, Mexico’s Rogelio Funes Mori is also one of the six players currently on three Gold Cup goals.

Junior Hoilett also put in an inspiring performance against Costa Rica as he became the first Canadian to find the net in two Gold Cup quarter-final fixtures (2017 and 2021). After an impressive tournament for Les Rouges, Canadian soccer fans will no doubt be curious where free agent Hoilett will end up next season after his time with Cardiff City FC ended in May.

The quarter-final win was also Canada’s first clean sheet of the competition, with Maxime Crépeau and his backline ensuring that Costa Rica were unable to register a shot on target over 90 minutes.

Morale is evidently high within the Canadian camp, and with a tough task ahead of them in the semi-finals, Herdman’s men will look to build on their admirable showings when they take on a Mexico side who has yet to concede a single goal in this year’s Gold Cup.

“El Tri” began their campaign with a 0-0 draw to Trinidad and Tobago, but then bounced back with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Guatemala and a 1-0 victory against El Salvador to clinch top spot in Group A.

In the last eight, Mexico comfortably dispatched Honduras 3-0 to reach the Gold Cup semi-finals for the eighth consecutive tournament.

For the semifinal, Canada will be without two more pieces. Lucas Cavallini and Steven Vitória each picked up a yellow card against Costa Rica, which means they will serve a one-game suspension on Thursday.

The Mexico clash will be Canada’s fourth in Gold Cup history, with Les Rouges’ last outing in the semifinals coming back in 2007 where the United States recorded a narrow 2-1 victory. Their first and only Gold Cup semifinal triumph came during the tournament in 2000 where Canada ultimately went on to win it all. Mark Watson scored the only goal of the game against Trinidad and Tobago to book a place in the final against Colombia.

Since 1991, Mexico has played in 12 Gold Cup semifinals, winning nine and losing three. 2017 was the last time “El Tri” suffered defeat in the last four as they fell 1-0 to Jamaica.

If Mexico’s Gold Cup semifinal record wasn’t daunting enough, their record against Canada is one Herdman’s men will need to put to the side for the time being.

Out of 36 total meetings between the two nations, Canada has only won three of them. The trio of wins came during the 1976 CONCACAF Nations Cup (1-0), the 1990 North American Nations Cup (2-1) and the 2000 Gold Cup (2-1).

Since 2010, Mexico has won four out of their four encounters with Canada. The lastest matchup between the two nations was during the 2019 Gold Cup group stage, where Mexico ran out 3-1 winners.

Herdman’s men will have their sights set on rewriting the narrative that has almost always gone Mexico’s way. Having already given Canadian soccer fans much to cheer about this tournament, Canada’s thrilling squad are on a quest to reach new heights, as well as showcase that they can indeed compete with one of the world’s most renowned national soccer teams.