David And Davies Lead Canada Past Panama To Reach Concacaf Nations League Final
For the first time in 23 years, Canada will be playing for a trophy on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
John Herdman’s team put on an outstanding performance on Thursday night at Allegiant Stadium on the Vegas strip beating Panama 2-0.
The gaffer was was asked about the key performances from his star players, describing the ‘bloody good players’ as next level athletes who made a difference tonight.
Jonathan David opened the scoring in the 25th minute and Alphonso Davies came off the bench to score an insurance goal in the 69th to seal Canada’s victory.
“We have big-moment players. We asked them when those moments came to step up, and the first goal was a really nice one. Phonzie just does his thing, and we’re proud.”
Milan Borjan secured another clean sheet and Canada, despite what Herdman said on Wednesday, got off to a very quick start and looked in control all night.
“You see that type of talent and the effort was fantastic tonight,” he added.
Seven minutes into the game Canada got the first chance to score of the night when Sam Adekugbe got a great feed and a shot on target but the offside flag went up.
Two minutes later there was a set piece for Canada, but it went right into the hands of the Panama goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera. Panama stuck to their physical style of play, causing a lot of fouls.
Ismael Diaz and Fidel Escobar had the best chance for Panama at goa,l but Borjan was on his game tonight making crucial saves at key moments of the match.
“For us, that’s the match we want and a match that we needed – where it will test you physically and emotionally, and there were some tough moments. They were really physical.”
In the 59th minute, Canada still looked hungry for more up 1-0 when Tajon Buchanan timed a perfect cross to Cyle Larin, but his header went off the post and stayed out.
“That performance was about resilience, shaking off some rust, and getting this team back together, but also showing our quality.”
After the match in a post-game interview with OneSoccer, Steven Vitoria gave his reaction to beating Panama.
“We had two finals and the first one is done, so we are going to enjoy it and focus on the next one in a couple of days”, Vitoria said. ” Half of the job is done and we are happy and excited and were ready for what’s coming.”
Davies, who secured the win for Canada and continues to be its best player, spoke about what’s to come on Sunday night in their first final together as a team.
“The two teams fighting for a spot to face us are two big teams so we are going to watch and see who we are going to play”, Davies mentioned.
“For us, we are just excited to be here and to perform for our country and hopefully get a trophy at the end.”
The US dispatched Mexico 3-0 in a rowdy match which also included four red cards, earning the opposite slot in a the final. The match will take place on Sunday in Las Vegas at Allegianti Stadium.
Header Image Photo Credit: Canada Soccer