Missing some key players and facing a physical Jamaica side under fire for a poor start to the final round of World Cup qualifying, Canada emerged with a valuable away point after a scoreless draw last Sunday in Kingston, Jamaica.
The Canadians (1-0-4) remain unbeaten in the Octagonal round-robin. But they will think back on squandering a gilt-edged chance falling to Liam Millar in the second half of a game where clear scoring chances were few and far between.
It’s a measure of the raised expectations around the 51st-ranked Canadian men that the single point will be seen as a disappointment in some quarters. But factoring in Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Mexico, it’s been a productive trip.
“We’ve come away with a good point,” said Canada coach John Herdman, seeing the glass half full. “I think this is a good point. We’ll rue missing two, but I think coming out of this — Mexico’s a tough place to get a point, Jamaica’s a tough place to come and get a point.
“And we’re on our way back home now for three home matches.”
Canada returns to Toronto to host Panama on Wednesday at BMO Field. Then it’s two more home games in Edmonton in November, against Costa Rica and Mexico.
Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake made a remarkable save in the 60th minute to deny Millar, who seemed to have an open net after a fine low cross from Alphonso Davies, who showed his class throughout the game. Herdman and Millar were both left holding their heads in disbelief after the athletic Blake, the reigning MLS goalkeeper of the year with the Philadelphia Union, somehow covered the gap to get his hands to the ball.
“A game-winning save for us,” said Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore.