Canada Falls To Rival USA In Gold Cup
Less than a month after losing to the US in the Concacaf Nations League final in Las Vegas, the two teams met once again – this time in a Gold Cup quarter-final in Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium.
They were hoping for a different result, but lost a heartbreaker in dramatic fashion: losing on penalties after the score was level 2-2 at the end of extra time.
“It’s bittersweet, and I’m gutted”, Herdman said in his post-match interview with Canada Soccer.
Brandon Vazquez, Steven Vitoria, Jacob Shaffelburg, and an own goal by Scott Kennedy forced the game into extra time and penalties, where the home side eventually won.
“I am still disappointed for the players and the staff. They put a big shift in, the players and the team grew through the tournament, and we expected that.”
For the first 30 minutes, the so-called visitors started the game on the front foot attacking at will looking for early chances, but lacking that finish to get anything on target.
In the 31st minute, Julian Gressel – who plays in Canada for the Vancouver Whitecaps – had a chance at a free-kick but it was punched away by Dayne St Clair, who had one hell of a game.
“We showed a lot of depth tonight in Ali Ahmed, Moise Bombito, and Dayne St Clair. I thought those new players were able to stand up there and show something tonight, and that’s positive for Canada.”
Due to an assistant referee getting hit in the head with a ball and being subbed off, 10 minutes were added on to the first 45. Canada were almost awarded a penalty, but VAR determined a foul on the play.
“This was difficult for us tonight. You have to credit the quality of the US, and you need to credit the veteran players. They showed they have a lot to give for this country.”
The Americans came on in the second half and started to push back and in the 55th minute it was deja vu as Gressel had another chance at a set piece but, again, the ball was punched away.
It took until the 88th minute for the Americans to strike as DeJuan Jones was able to cross the ball to Brandon Vazquez, who was able to head the ball into the back of the net.
Five minutes later VAR was at it again for another handball in the box, and this time after the review the ref pointed to the spot and Steven Vitoria who, takes penalties for his club, stepped up and converted.
The game shifted into extra time and in the 109th minute, Shaffelburg made an amazing run and was able to get a powerful shot that went through two American defenders and keeper Matt Turner to make it 2-1.
Canada seemed destined for victory but in the 115th minute disaster struck when an American shot on target went off St Clair to Scott Kennedy, who unfortunately deflected the ball into his own net.
The match was decided by penalties where the first three shooters in Steven Vitoria, Brandon Vazquez, and Liam Fraser all missed before Cade Cowell converted for the Americans.
Kamal Miller was able to score before Gianluca Busio made it 2-1, and then Jacen Russell Rowe made it 2-2.
In the final round Jesus Ferrera, who has been on fire this tournament scoring back-to-back hat tricks in his last two games, converted before Charles Andreas-Brym’s shot went off the bar to end the game and Canada’s time at the Gold Cup.