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Canada defeats El Salvador, take maximum points from winter international window

Les Rouges won their third straight game by a 2-0 scoreline as they beat La Selecta in San Salvador on Wednesday night.

Canada celebrates their opening goal vs El Salvador on February 2, 2022.
(Martin Bazyl/Canada Soccer)

Call it a clean sweep, as Canada picked their third win in less than a week, which culminated in a victory at Estadio Cuscatlán.

John Herdman opted for some rotation in this final match of the current international round.

Liam Millar and Doneil Henry started in place of Tajon Buchanan and the suspended Steven Vitória. Jonathan David started as the lone striker, with Jonathan Osorio playing as the attacking midfielder.

Canada controlled possession for the opening 10 minutes of the match, while they continued to keep the ball in the opposing half. The first big chance of the game came in the 19th minute when Jonathan David’s shot was saved by El Salvador’s backup ‘keeper, Kevin Carabantes. Sam Adekugbe played a one-two with Osorio, and ran in behind the defence to cut the ball back to David whose shot was parried behind for a corner.

A couple minutes later, a Canada free kick was taken by Stephen Eustáquio who lost his footing in the run up to his shot, but still forced a save by Carabantes who punched it over the bar. The first half ended 0-0.

Herdman looked to his bench in the 59th minute as he made a triple substitution. Jonathan Osorio, Liam Millar and Junior Hoilett were replaced by Tajon Buchanan, Cyle Larin and Alistair Johnston.

Canada opened the scoring in the 66th minute through their captain Atiba Hutchinson. Many would call this the perfect “CONCACAF” goal, as a broken play ended up with the ball somehow in the back of the net. I commend anyone who can properly describe the exact details of this play.

Milan Borjan preserved the clean sheet with a save in second half stoppage time, which came from a shot well outside of Canada’s box.

Jonathan David sealed the victory for Canada with the last kick of the game in the 94th minute. David intercepted an El Salvador throw in his own half, and ran the majority of the pitch before calmly chipping the ‘keeper.

It is worth noting that David’s last four goals for Canada have all come in the second half - the Ottawa native always seems to find himself in the right place at the right time.

Canada’s next match of World Cup Qualifying is against Costa Rica on March 24. Time and venue are TBD.