Canada men’s soccer team defeats Qatar in friendly ahead of World Cup

After a messy international window in June for a Canadian men’s squad that didn’t get the proper tests they needed, Canada passed one of their final tests ahead of the World Cup with flying colors in a comfortable 2-0 friendly win. about Qatar.

First-half goals from Cyle Larin and Jonathan David were the difference, and Canada was able to create a well-timed, synchronized game and move the ball around a Qatari team that never seemed to have control of the ball.

“You’ve seen the look of (a team) that we have to evolve into in the World Cup,” coach John Herdman said after the game. “The threat of transition and the quality and pace of our players are critical to us.”

Canadian defender Sam Adekugbe delivered an airy cross to Larin in the fifth minute and extended his Canadian record with a header, scoring his 25th goal for Canada. Larin didn’t exactly have many chances, but it’s encouraging for the men’s team that Larin, who has been fighting for minutes with Club Brugge, didn’t need much time to convert his first chance.

With a crowd of forwards scrambling to impress Herdman, Larin gave an early answer to questions about what the Canadian attack line will look like in Qatar. After some confusion in front of Qatar’s goal in the 14th minute, David scored his 22nd goal for Canada from close range. David’s finish on the second goal was clinical, but Canada’s ability to be patient with the ball in midfield stood out in this last stretch. They will likely not have possession of the ball for much of the World Cup, but there is reason to believe that they can look comfortable when they do.

Perhaps even more notable was David’s celebration after his goal. He purposely covered the Nike symbol on his shirt and flashed a faint smile.

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