The Canadian men's national team secured a much-coveted nine point international window on Wednesday, defeating El Salvador 2-0 away from home to stay atop the World Cup Qualifying table in Concacaf and extend their winning streak to six games. Canada boss John Herdman rotated his lineup somewhat after the two previous victories in this window, reuniting Atiba Hutchinson and Stephen Eustáquio in midfield. Junior Hoilett and Liam Millar came in up front alongside Jonathan David, with Doneil Henry and Scott Kennedy getting the start at centre-back. The match opened with Canada taking the initiative in the first half, pressing into the Salvadoran half and looking to break down the hosts. They nearly did in the 19th minute, as a Sam Adekugbe cutback pass from the end line found Jonathan David in front, but goalkeeper Kevin Carabantes (who only got the start after the usual starter was injured in warmups) made a good reaction save to keep it out. Canada weren't able to solve the Salvadoran block in the first half hour, and the hosts began to open up a little as the half progressed. They came close to challenging Canada with a few chances in short succession, including a handful of set-pieces, which injected the crowd at Estadio Cuscatlán with life. The game was rife with physical challenges and tactical fouls -- some of which certainly drew the ire of Canadian players -- as El Salvador tried to break up the visitors' possession play. It worked quite well, as the two sides went into the dressing room after a chippy first half with the score still 0-0.
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After the first 10 minutes of the second frame went by without incident, John Herdman went to his bench -- in aggressive fashion. He brought on Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, and Alistair Johnston, as Jonathan Osorio, Liam Millar, and Junior Hoilett departed. With the changes, Canada opted to play with a little more pace and aggression, seeking a goal in the final half hour. The breakthrough came around the 66th minute, in bizarre fashion. Larin came bursting down the flank, shrugging off contact from a defender, and he sent a ball into the box -- where Atiba Hutchinson was surging on goal. Hutchinson's initial header was saved, but an extraordinary sequence of bounces off Hutchinson and defender Eriq Zavaleta landed the ball just over the goal line in the net, somehow. Though even the Canadians were confused by the sequence of events, they happily took the 1-0 lead. The match retained its more open, urgent pace after the goal, as El Salvador looked for an equalizer and Canada sought to add to its lead. At last, it was Canada who found one final dagger -- just like on the weekend in Hamilton. Jonathan David flashed his pace to get to a long ball past the Salvadoran backline, and as he came in alone on the goalkeeper he slowed his run just enough to loft a perfect chip over and into the goal. So, Canada keep an unblemished record through three games in 2022. They remain four points clear at the top of the Concacaf Octagonal with an undefeated record, bringing them even closer to booking their trip to Qatar 2022. BOX SCORE Goals 66' -- Atiba Hutchinson (Canada) 90+4' -- Jonathan David (Canada) Discipline 18' -- Yellow: Roberto Dominguez (El Salvador) 29' -- Yellow: Doneil Henry (Canada) 37' -- Yellow: Alex Roldán (El Salvador) 90' -- Yellow: Sam Adekugbe (Canada)