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Canadian men's soccer team not just getting by without Alphonso Davies — it's thriving_freckle removal device

2022-08-16 19:06:03 Form: author: click:687
Canadian men's soccer team not just getting by without Alphonso Davies — it's thrivingHow would Canada do without Alphonso Davies? Perfectly fine, as it turned out. Despite missing their star, the Canadian men rolled to a comfortable 2-0 win over Honduras on Thursday, to remain top of the table in CONCACAF and move one step closer to qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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Jonathan David shows he can also provide magic on the pitch

John Molinaro · for CBC Sports(Delmer Martinez/The Associated Press)

Davies not only one producing magic moments

Davies so often provides the Canadians with moments of pure genius, spurring on the team with his breathtaking pace and dynamic attacking play. But he is not the only player on this team able to conjure moments of pure magic, as Honduras discovered to its peril.

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  • Analysis'They've done it before': Canada soccer better-equipped to cope with Davies' absence

The hosts got off to a bright start on Thursday, putting Canada under immediate pressure. But it was the visitors who opened the scoring when Tajon Buchanan went on a probing solo run down the right, wrong-footed his marker with a series of tantalizing stepovers, and then delivered a dangerous ball from the end line into the six-yard box that Honduras defender Denil Maldonado mistakenly headed into the back of his net.

A bit of fortune, to be sure. But make no mistake, Buchanan's graft and skill created Canada's opening goal.

Streaming his reactions to the match live on Twitch, Davies screamed out "Golazo! Come on! Tajon, give it to him!" after Buchanan's brilliant play forced the own goal.

WATCH | Alphonso Davies' incredible reaction to Canada's goals:

Watch Alphonso Davies' incredible reaction to Canada's goals against Honduras

2 days agoDuration 0:29Alphonso Davies wasn't on the pitch Thursday against Honduras, but he still gave Canada something to watch, with his fun reactions to both of Canada's goals in their 2-0 win.0:29

In desperate need of a goal, Honduras began to turn the screws on Canada as the second half trudged on. But goalkeeper Milan Borjan made a fabulous diving save on Kervin Arriaga's glancing header in the 70th minute to deny the Honduran midfielder the equalizer.

Moments later, almost on cue, Jonathan David sealed the win for Canada with a highlight-reel strike.

Substitute Liam Fraser played a 40-yard, laser pass from deep inside his half to David, who skillfully controlled the ball with his chest, headed it forward, and then masterfully chipped onrushing Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez from 24 yards out. After three exquisite touches of the ball at full speed, the ball was in the back of the net. Game over.

"Johnny … Come on, man," Davies screamed on his live stream.

WATCH | Canada defeats Honduras despite Davies' absence:

Canada inches closer to World Cup qualification

1 day agoDuration 2:01The Canadian men’s soccer team remains at the top of the World Cup qualifying standings after beating Honduras 2-0. Even with star player Alphonso Davies sidelined, there’s hope Canada can beat the arch-rival United States on Sunday.2:01

Herdman was equally impressed: "Watching [David] on that transition, and the goal that he scored, I mean, that was special."

Beyond the goals, the Canadians benefited from the stellar form of veteran midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, their 38-year-old captain who played in that 8-1 debacle nearly 10 years ago. 

So much of Herdman's tactics are built around Stephen Eustáquio, a sublime two-way player who makes the midfield tick. But he was unavailable on Thursday after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19. Hutchinson, Canada's all-time caps leader, offset the absent Eustáquio, and was very much at the centre of things while effortlessly serving as his team's chief organizer in the centre of the park.

One man goes down, another one seamlessly fills the void — that was the story of the game for Canada.

"The biggest thing I saw tonight was that next-man-up strategy," Herdman said.

WATCH | Jonathan David scores sublime goal:

Jonathan David seals road win over Honduras to keep Canada atop the CONCACAF table

2 days agoDuration 1:17Jonathan David capped off Liam Fraser's long pass in the 73rd minute as Canada shut out Honduras 2-0 to remain atop the FIFA World Cup CONCACAF qualifiers table.More soccer coverage:
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