Cyle Larin’s double strike leads Canada in win over Mexico

Cyle Larin

The win puts Canada into first place in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying

Canada is undefeated at the top of the table in the Concacaf Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after a 2:1 victory over visiting Mexico at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta. The win moved Canada into first place with 16 points from eight matches (4-4-0) ahead of USA (15 points), Mexico (14 points) and Panama (14 points).

Cyle Larin scored both goals for Canada, their first over Mexico since the Quarterfinals of the 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup and their first against Mexico in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers since 1976. Captain Atiba Hutchinson became the Men’s National Team’s all-time leader with 90 international “A” appearances while Larin tied Dwayne De Rosario for the most international “A” goals (22).

“I know when you have to go to Azteca and play at altitude, it’s tough, these road games are really tough, and every country uses their own uniqueness as an advantage,” said Men’s National Team Head Coach John Herdman. “A big thanks to the City of Edmonton. The whole time we’ve been here they’ve made it our fortress.” 

“I’m happy to tie the record and hopefully one day beat it but I wouldn’t be able to do it with my teammates. I’m happy to get there, but, it will be better if we make a World Cup,” said Cyle Larin. “The fans came out for us today and supported us in the cold. We’ve all grown up in this weather, so we’re used to it.”

Canada has built plenty of momentum in a landmark year for the Men’s National Team Program. The team has already played 17 of 19 matches for the year, posting a record of 11-4-2 with eight clean sheets and a record 52 goals scored. Canada also set a record with eight consecutive wins and reached the Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals for the first time since 2007.

To reach the Concacaf Final Round, Canada won their First Round group against Aruba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Suriname, then eliminated Haiti in a head-to-head Second Round series. This marks the first time since 1997 that Canada has reached the Concacaf Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. From the Concacaf Final Round of eight nations, the top-three nations automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and the fourth-best nation advance to an inter-continental playoff for additional FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™Qualifiers.

Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team are two-time Concacaf champions, previously winning the 1985 Concacaf Championship and 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup. This year marked Canada’s 15th participation at the Concacaf Gold Cup since 1991. Along with their first-place finish in 2000, Canada reached the Semifinals in 2002, 2007, and 2021. Across the past five years from 2017 to 2021, Canada is one of only four nations that finished top-six across all four Concacaf major tournaments: fifth place in Concacaf Nations League A, sixth place at both the 2017 and 2019 Concacaf Gold Cups, and a semi-final finish at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.