Canada Advance to Gold Cup Quarterfinals After Defeating Cuba in Thrilling Match

Canada Advance to Gold Cup Quarterfinals After Defeating Cuba in Thrilling Match

As temperatures soared in Houston, the Canadian Men’s National Team narrowly avoided an early exit from the Concacaf Gold Cup, edging Cuba 4-2 on Tuesday night. Les Rouges finished second in Group D and will now face off against the United States for a rematch of last month’s Concacaf Nations League Final at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati this Sunday evening.

Canadian dreams of victory were sparked early on when Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Ali Ahmed’s setup was hand balled in the box by a defender, earning Canada a penalty kick. Junior Hoilett stepped up to take it and sent the keeper the wrong way to open the scoring. But it didn’t end there; Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio added to the lead just five minutes later with some swift passing between teammates Liam Fraser, Liam Millar, and Lucas Cavallini before Osorio stroked it home.

The Canadians will need to bring their A-game on Sunday if they wish to upset the Americans’ hopes of glory in front of their own fans.

Canada appeared to be on track for a commanding victory during the first forty minutes of their match against Cuba, though momentum shifted dramatically during stoppage time. A slip by Canadian player Osorio provided an opportunity for Cuban attacker, which resulted in Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair bringing them down. Luis Paradela then capitalized on this moment and slotted home the ensuing penalty kick, cutting Canada’s lead in half.

However, Canada re-established their two-goal lead early in the second half as former Toronto FC forward Jayden Nelson scored his second CanMNT goal after finishing a dropped ball from Sandy Sanchez. In the 61st minute, Cuban head coach Pablo Elier Sánchez swapped goalkeepers out for Nelson Johnston and soon found themselves conceding again as Millar put Canada ahead 4-1 with his first ever goal for the country. Maykel Reyes then scored Cuba’s second penalty kick goal in the 89th minute, narrowing the scoreline to 4-2.

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