USMNT frustrated by Canada in front of energetic Nashville crowd

In front of 43,028 fans at Nissan Stadium, and United States and Canada battled to a hard fought and spirited 1-1 draw. The result leaves both sides with two points from their first two matches of the final round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying.

Lineup

Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic got his first start of the window, after staying home from the El Salvador trip to continue his return to fitness after contracting Covid-19.

Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie was suspended for the match after breaching the team’s Covid protocols, and Gregg Berhalter replaced him with a midfield trio of Tyler Adams, Sebastian Lletget and Kellyn Acosta.

Run of play

While El Salvador pressed the US to good effect, John Herdman’s Canada opted to sit in a lower block, frustrating the US attackers. Pulisic looked dangerous when he was able to run at defenders, but his final ball into the box never quite clicked. In a way it was a microcosm of the larger issue, with the US unable to make the most of their 72% possession, managing just 11 shots.

Sergiño Dest nearly gave away a goal in the 10th minute, failing to clear a ball over the top which was pounced on by Alphonso Davies. The Bayern Munich phenom blazed past Dest before laying it off to Cyle Larin, who was denied from close range by a spectacular save from Matt Turner.

After a couple half-chances to close out the half, as well as a near own goal from Scott Kennedy, the US found the opener just after the break. Brendan Aaronson dispossessed Kennedy just inside the half, sparking a counter that ended in an Aaronson tap in.

Canada equalized just seven minutes later through a counter of their own. Davies found a pocket of space behind substitute DeAndre Yedlin and breezed down the left flank, setting up Cyle Larin for a simple finish with a perfectly weighted ball across the box.

Both sides had half chances to take something more, including a Tajon Buchanan effort that flashed across the face of goal, but the points were shared on the evening.

Big picture

Canada will be the happier of the two sides, coming into Nissan Stadium as the underdog and leaving a solid account of themselves. They’ll head back to Toronto with a chance to take five points from their first qualifying window, putting them in good position to finish in a top three spot.

On the other hand, Gregg Berhalter and his US team should be frustrated with both their performances and their results in their first two matches. The gameplan against Canada largely made sense, but the execution was lacking, especially in the final third. They’ll have little time to figure it out, heading to Honduras for a Wednesday night matchup. With injuries piling up in the squad, Berhalter could call in replacements, but he’ll need more from the core of his squad.

Standings

  1. Mexico 🇲🇽 – 6 points
  2. Panama 🇵🇦 – 4 points
  3. Canada 🇨🇦 – 2 points
  4. Honduras 🇭🇳 – 2 points
  5. United States 🇺🇸 – 2 points
  6. El Salvador 🇸🇻 – 2 points
  7. Costa Rica 🇨🇷 – 1 point
  8. Jamaica 🇯🇲 – 0 points

Lineups

United States (4-3-3): Turner; A. Robinson, Brooks, M. Robinson, Dest (Yedlin 45′); Lletget (Roldan 84′), Adams, Acosta; Pulisic, Pefok (Sargent 85′), Aaronson (de la Fuente 85′)

Canada (3-4-3): Borjan; Kennedy (Miller 59′), Henry, Johnston; Adekugbe, Kaye (Hutchinson 78′), Eustáquio, Laryea; Davies (Osorio 77′), Larin (David 66′), Hoilett (Buchanan 66′)

Stats

Possession: USA 72% – 28% CAN
Shots: USA 11 – 7 CAN
Shots on goal: USA 2 – 2 CAN
Goals: USA 1 – 1 CAN
Passes: USA 586 – 231 CAN
Fouls: USA 10 – 12 CAN
Yellow cards: USA 3 – 2 CAN
Red cards: USA 0 – 0 CAN

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