Canada defeats Qatar in Vienna
Canada Soccer’s Men’s National team defeated Qatar 2:0 in its first friendly of the international break. The game played in Vienna (Austria) marked the first time ever that the 2022 World Cup host (Qatar) and the 2026 World Cup Host (Canada) played against each other.
Canada largely dominated the match, controlling possession and keeping Qatar pinned in their half. It didn’t take long for Canada to open the scoring when Cyle Larin headed home a Sam Adekugbe cross in the 4th minute.
Jonathan David skipped past two Qatar midfielders before playing a pass into the feet of Alphonso Davies at the top of the 18-yard box. Davies sent it wide to Adekugbe, who delivered a left-footed cross to Larin who put it passed the keeper.
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Less than 10 minutes later, Jonathan David put Canada up by two when Kamal Miller whipped in a cross that was punched out by Qatar’s keeper Saad Abdulla M E Alsheeb. The ball found its way to the feet of Jonathan David in the six-yard box, and he side-footed his shot into the net.
Midfielder Stephen Eustáquio looked to drop deep and pick up the ball, allowing Allistair Johnston to get forward. Eustáquio displayed his passing abilities as he sprayed long passes across the field, often switching the play.
Steven Vitoria held down the backline, allowing left-sided centre-back Kamal Miller and right-sided centre-back Allistair Johnston to advance forward. Miller’s forward runs played a large part in the team’s second goal.
The two-goal lead gave Canada comfort and goalkeeper Milan Borjan was ready when called upon. Borjan made two important stops early on and rushed 40-yards out of his goal to clear a ball that was sent in behind the backline.
In the second half, Canada took the opportunity to rest its starters and use its squad depth by making six substitutions. Charles-Andreas Brym, Richie Laryea, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Ismaël Koné, Liam Millar and Iké Ugbo all made an appearance in the second half.
Miller hit the crossbar in the second half after a dangerous free kick from Canada fell to his feat. The team looked to score more goals but couldn’t put another in the net despite their many chances.