Canada’s men’s national team kicked off September with a 2-0 win over Qatar in an international friendly on Friday.
Cyle Larin and Jonathan David both scored within 15 minutes to give Canada a comfortable win the rest of the way.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Uruguay friendly, here are three key takeaways from Friday’s game.
double pivot excels
Canada had only four midfielders left in these two friendly games in September, given injuries to Atiba Hutchinson and Jonathan Osorio.
Canadian coach John Hardman has used some variation of the double pivot in at least eight of Canada’s last 10 games.
Samuel Piette has earned a nod next to Steven Eustacchio, Marc Anthony Kaye is still gaining match fitness and Ismael Kone is in the role of impact understudy at CF Montreal.
But Piette and Eustaquio are also in great form to enter this window for their respective clubs, only furthering the argument that they should start together.
The time they played together was perfect, proving Hardman’s decision was right.
We really did it all in this game. For example, Piette (6th) and Eustachio (7th) were regularly winning second his ball and quick hitting his passes when losing possession.
They moved sideways to combine with wide players, create a triangle on the flanks and drag Qatar’s compact 3-5-2 across the pitch before pressing a quick switch to extend their defensive form further.
There were also some important defensive interventions.
Piette eventually checked out in place of Kone (number 8), and the 20-year-old made an immediate impact off the bench.
Had Sam Adekgbe not penned that pass for Ike Ugbo, Ike Ugbo might have been behind and had a clearer shot.
The only question now is whether the Eustakio-Piette partnership will have enough pace to keep up with more dynamic teams such as Uruguay, Japan and Belgium. These are his next three opponents in Canada that will surely put that theory to the test.
Kone sped up on behalf of Piette but lacked the defensive awareness needed to fully optimize the two-man midfield. These are the conundrums Hardman will have to ponder over the next few days.
Larin Rewards Faith
Cyle Larin’s appearances at Club Brugge have been brief, if not non-existent, this season. But with the World Cup just around the corner, it would be a bold decision to put the men’s national team’s all-time top scorer on the bench, and Larin has typically played in his home country over the past 18 months, regardless of club circumstances. I did business for
Hardman’s commitment paid off when Larin scored a goal within four minutes on a header. Their defense on goal was questionable at best, but they clearly supported the 27-year-old in the rest of the half.
A few minutes later, Larin’s opportunity presents itself. Larin executed a run to the back and Alistair Johnston delivered a fatal through ball to the back as Canada passed Qatar’s high line quickly. The Canadian forward tested goalkeeper Saad Al Seeb with a sizzling shot at the near post to no avail.
All in all, it was an active game for Larin who checked out at half-time, perhaps a few days later in a friendly against Uruguay.
Preparing for Uruguay
The result was basically secured after 15 minutes. Canada dominated completely and Qatar did not threaten Milan Boljan’s goal. In other words, preparations for Uruguay started early.
Canada started the game with a back four off-the-ball with Sam Adekbe at left back, Kamal Miller and Stephen Vitria at centre-backs and Alistair Johnston at right. In possession, both full-backs pushed up to form a fluid 3-4-3 for him.
This changed after Canada took a 2-0 lead. Instead of going back to being 4-4-2 off the ball, Canada shifted to five backs when they lost possession.
Still, they went back to 4-4-2 with four players in the backline. Even if in the next sequence Eustachio covers stand-in Richie his laria.
The back five could be Hardman’s strategy against Uruguay.of Charuas With a deadly midfield and quality wide attackers, loading the half-space and central channel can be a smart strategy.
Canada’s midfield shines with a comfortable win over Qatar, but an even bigger challenge awaits
Source link Canada’s midfield shines with a comfortable win over Qatar, but an even bigger challenge awaits