TORONTO — Alphonso Davies told reporters on Monday that Canada would try to make history against the U.S. In front of 17,126 fans at BMO Field, the Canadian finally did it.
For the first time since 1985, the Canadian men’s national team defeated the USMNT. In his first game against the Americans, Davies scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win while Lucas Cavallini added the insurance goal in stoppage time.
“I’m happy to be able to score in this game, we knew it was a big one,” said Davies. “There were millions of emotions running through me on that goal.”
With the win, Canada maintains its top spot in its Concacaf Nations League group with the U.S. and Cuba — a surprising twist as the inaugural competition has ramped up.
“I’ve been in this program almost ten years now and this emotion, I didn’t feel before,” said Milan Borjan. “I haven’t felt this in Canada for so long and tonight was something special to remember.”
Canada lost Mark-Anthony Kaye only five minutes into the game when the LAFC midfielder pulled a hamstring while making a run towards the right flank. Coach John Herdman sent in Toronto FC’s Liam Fraser to replace the 24-year-old.
At the 15th minute, Jonathan David missed back-to-back opportunities to get his country the opening goal. The Gent forward took advantage of a giveaway from Cristian Roldan giving him a clear chance on goal. However, his first shot was saved by Zack Steffen and his second flew inches wide of the far post.
Despite the early substitution, Canada kept its hold on the game but did not convert on their chances. Without finding a way to finish on their opportunities, both countries left for halftime with a scoreless draw.
“It was a calm dressing room,” said Herdman about the mood at halftime. “I think there was always a belief in this group and it was just nice and calm. We looked at clips of where the U.S. was starting to break us down but there’s been a belief right from the onset.”
Canada opened the score at the 63rd minute thanks to Davies, who had a superb game. After David’s shot from inside the six-yard box was blocked off the line, the Bayern Munich winger tapped in the opener. The ball barely made its way into the net before hitting David who was down into the goal.
“There was many emotions going through me, you don’t know how to act,” Davies said. “Especially when the whole team is running towards you. People step on your ankles. The energy is pumping so you don’t feel it until afterwards.”
Cavallini, who came off the bench for Davies added a second Canadian goal in stoppage time. The Puebla FC forward received a pass from Jonathan Osorio and took a strike from the top of the box and beat Steffen toward the far post.
“I was expecting a pass from Osorio, me and him were playing together since we were small,” Cavallini said. “I knew the kind of pass he was going to give me. Once the ball just started bouncing, I knew that all I wanted to do was just break the net.”
With three games played in the Concacaf Nations League, Canada finds itself atop Group A with a perfect 3-0-0 record and nine points. The U.S. remains second with a 1-1-0 record and 3 points with two games played.