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Frustration in Nashville: USMNT, Canada draw 1-1, splitting qualifying points

For the second straight World Cup qualifying match, the USMNT split the points with their opponent, this time against Canada at home.
USMNT vs. Canada World Cup qualifying

Frustration loomed over the crowd in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday night. The USMNT, hosting their first World Cup qualifying match of the Octagonal, drew with Canada, 1-1, splitting the points. The U.S. opened up World Cup qualifying with a scoreless draw against El Salvador.

That gives them two points in the Octagonal. The top three teams will automatically qualify, with the fourth-place team facing off in a playoff. The U.S. is slotted, currently, in fifth place after the draw. Panama and Mexico picked up wins on Sunday night in their respective matches.

There are four teams with 2 points: Canada, the USMNT, Honduras and El Salvador.

Brenden Aaronson tried to change that in the second half against Canada. In the 56th minute, a foul against Christian Pulisic was ignored by the referee and the advantage was played for the U.S. The ball found Antonee Robinson on the left side of the flank, and he sent it in for the sliding tap-in from Aaronson, the former Philadelphia Union man.

Canada responded almost immediately, though, silencing the crowd in Nashville. Almost identical to what Aaronson’s goal looked like, Alphonso Davies found Cyle Larin in the box for a tap-in — although this one not sliding.

Canada had a chance to put the match away in the 78th minute. Tajon Buchanan simply out-ran John Brooks — who was playing conservatively with a yellow card — and took an open shot, albeit at a difficult angle. His shot went wide, leaving the match at 1-1.

Both teams will leave Nashville with 1 point apiece.

Three Takeaways from USMNT vs. Canada

  1. What does this mean? In all fairness, this should have been a win. The crowd boo’ing at the end of the match symbolized it all. That’s not saying that Canada is a bad team. However, for a team that just won the Nations League and the Gold Cup, a win, on home soil, was a must.
  2. Will this cost Berhalter? The tale of the tape was different for Jürgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena. The U.S. had lost matches to Mexico and Costa Rica when Klinsmann was fired. Of course, Arena was fired after the catastrophe that was failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Will Berhalter lose his job? It’s unlikely — think about how his hiring was backed by U.S. Soccer folks all the way. He’s not going anywhere — unless the U.S. fails to qualify.
  3. All hope is not lost: Don’t dwell too much. The U.S. did not lose both of their matches. They drew, and they got two points out of it. They are above teams that lost matches. And, in all fairness, this is the start of World Cup qualifying. Of course, being at home, wins are expected, especially with how tough road matches are in Concacaf. However, like Christian Pulisic said post-game, there are plenty of games to play.

What’s next for the U.S. and Canada?

Like Pulisic said, it’s time to move on to the next games. The U.S. will hit the road and face Honduras on Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Canada will return home to take on El Salvador at 7:30 p.m. ET.


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