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US stumbles to 2-0 loss to Canada in qualifying

HAMILTON, ONTORIO (AP) – Canada established itself as the dominant nation in football’s North and Central American and Caribbean region, taking a big step toward reaching the World Cup for the first time since 1986 with a 2-0 victory on Sunday over the United States (US).

Cyle Larin scored in the seventh minute and Sam Adekugbe added a goal in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. Canada beat the US for just the second time in 37 years, remaining unbeaten in qualifying through 10 of 14 games.

Included are a win and a draw against both the US and Mexico, traditionally the region’s
dominant nations.”

I genuinely believe that these men have an opportunity to really leave a proper football legacy on this country moving forward,” Canada coach John Herdman said.

The US has one win and two draws in five road qualifiers but remains on track to return to the World Cup for the first time since 2014 with wins in its remaining two home games, the first a chilly encounter with Honduras tomorrow night in what is forecast to be a single-digit or sub-zero temperature at St Paul, Minnesota.

“Our focus right now is finishing off the window with a win,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said. “If we can do that, we’ll be in good position.”

Canada defeated the US in qualifying for the first time since 1980 and leads North and Central America and the Caribbean with 22 points. The US remained second with 18 points, ahead of Mexico on goal difference, followed by Panama (17), Costa Rica (13), El Salvador (nine), Jamaica (seven) and Honduras (three), which was mathematically eliminated with a 2-0 home loss to El Salvador.

The top three nations qualify for this year’s tournament in Qatar, and fourth place advances to a playoff against the Oceania champion.

Canada fans cheer from the stands. PHOTO: AP
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