BSS
  06 Sep 2021, 11:12

Davies rescues Canada as US held again

LOS ANGELES, Sept 6, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - The United States were held to a second
consecutive draw in CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup on Sunday as
Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies helped Canada grab a 1-1 draw against the
Americans in Nashville.

     Coach Gregg Berhalter's US side, forced to settle for a 0-0 draw against
El Salvador on Thursday, looked to be on course to take all three points
after Red Bull Salzburg forward Brenden Aaronson fired them ahead on 55
minutes.

     But American hopes of a vital three points were left in tatters only
seven minutes later when Davies ruthlessly punished a defensive error by US
substitute DeAndre Yedlin down the left flank.

     The 20-year-old winger raced forward and then squared a perfect pass to
Cyle Larin who tucked away the finish to silence a crowd of 43,000 at
Nashville's Nissan Stadium.

     The hosts, who welcomed Chelsea's Christian Pulisic back into their
starting line-up after his recovery from Covid-19, were unable to break the
deadlock in the time remaining as Canada held on for a deserved draw.

     The result leaves the Americans, desperate to atone for their failure to
qualify for the 2018 World Cup, with just two points from two games in the
eight-team final group of qualifying for teams from North America, Central
America and the Caribbean.

     "Obviously it's not exactly where we want to be but we have a lot of
games left to play and it's not time to put our heads down," Pulisic said.

     "We've got one more game in this window and we've got to get going,"
added the US captain, whose team play Honduras in San Pedro Sula on
Wednesday.

     It was a frustrating night for the US, who had dropped Juventus's Weston
McKennie shortly before the game started for a breach of team Covid-19
protocols.

     - Davies threat -

     Aaronson's well-worked team goal was a rare moment of successful
penetration for the US, who struggled to find a rhythm early on against a
physical Canadian team.

     The pace of Davies for Canada on the counter-attack was a constant
threat, and the Bundesliga star almost created a goal in the first half,
catching US right back Sergino Dest napping to race clear.

     Davies got to the byline and cut back for Larin, whose shot was
brilliantly palmed behind for a corner by off-balance US goalkeeper Matt
Turner.

     The US struggled to create clear-cut opportunities as Canada defended in
depth, with Antonee Robinson's speculative long-range effort on 21 minutes,
saved by Borjan, the only US chance of note early on.

     In fact, the best American chance in the opening half an hour came via a
Canadian.

     A surging run up the flank by Dest created space for Aaronson and the
winger's whipped cross was desperately headed goalwards by Canada defender
Scott Kennedy, forcing an acrobatic save from Milan Borjan.

     As the first half drew to a close, the US began to get on top. Pulisic
hit the post with a 40th minute effort and Sebastian Lletget flashed a volley
wide on the stroke of half-time.

     But after Aaronson's second half goal, Canada responded superbly, and
were more than a match for the US as they took a precious away point.

     Elsewhere in CONCACAF qualifiers on Sunday, Mexico made it two wins out
of two with a gritty 1-0 win over Costa Rica in San Jose.

     Orbelin Pineda's penalty secured all three points for the Mexicans, who
have six points from two games to top the standings.

     Jamaica meanwhile suffered a second defeat, beaten 3-0 at home by 2018
World Cup qualifiers Panama.

     In the other game of the day, El Salvador were held 0-0 at home against
Honduras.

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