Canada is coming off a resounding 2-0 victory over Honduras on Thursday, overcoming the absences of Alphonso Davies and Stephen Eustáquio smoothly. It was Canada‘s first victory in Honduras since 1985, and now the national team is on the verge of securing its first World Cup bid since 1986.
Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s game against the United States on Sunday.
Canada vs USA
Sunday, January 30 at 3:05 PM | Direct
In any international competition, Canada-USA will be a heated rivalry, but Sunday’s competition carries added weight. Although the United States have more headliners, including Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Weston McKinnie (Juventus) and Sergiño Dest (Barcelona), Canada enters the game in much better shape and could really establish themselves as the true power of CONCACAF with a victory.
Timothy Weah, Pulisic and Jesus Ferreira formed a three-man front against El Salvador but were largely ineffective as the United came away with a 1-0 win on Thursday thanks to a 52nd-minute goal from the left-back Anthony Robinson. Pulisic, in particular, could tip the balance of the game. He was terrible against El Salvador and struggled to find meaningful minutes at Chelsea this season, but a standout performance against Canada could boost his confidence. The United States will be forced to revise its training before Sunday because Weah was not allowed to cross the border, having received only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and having been infected before receiving the second dose.
Robinson and Dest have been in better shape for the United States and if Canada is to come out with a win, Junior Hoilett and Tajon Buchanan (who was excellent on Thursday) will have to win these individual encounters. Buchanan is a nightmare on the wing, with his stepping tutorial leading to the opening goal of the game against Honduras after whipping in a cross that led to an own goal.
Canada does not need to win the battle for possession. Against Honduras they were firmly possessed and never gave up control of the game. Sure, the USA poses a bigger threat, but with Hoilett, Buchanan, Cyle Larin and Jonathan David – who scored a marvelous goal to secure the win over Honduras – at John Herdman’s disposal, Canada can win this match with a vicious and precise counter-attack.
More from Yahoo Sports