The Canadian national team opened the 2019 Gold Cup with a 4-0 win over the Caribbean nation of Martinique turning an even match into a rout in the second half.
Canada’s win gave them the three points needed to start on top of Group A. The win certainly puts them in the driver’s seat for the knockout round and probably only need one point from their next to games to advance.
Canada won on the strength largely of the man of the match, forward Jonathan David. He scored Canada’s first two goals taking advantage of a mistake by Martinique goalkeeper Loic Chauvet in the 33rd minute and then slipping by the Martinique defense to score in the 53rd minute.
Despite being down at halftime 1-0, Martinique was able to put pressure on the Canadians but goalkeeper Milan Borja came up big with five saves.
In the second half Canada turned up the pressure putting four shots on goal and scoring three times. After David’s second goal, things turned as Junior Hoilett scored in the 63rd minute and then the captain Scott Arfield beat Chauvet with a low shot. In the span of 14 minutes Canada turned the match into a rout as Martinique wilted in the Southern California sun.
Borjan remained strong in the second half and kept the clean sheet stopping all three shots in the second half and maintained Canada’s goal differential.
With Mexico being their next match Canada will have to play much harder than they did today if they park the bus and maintain their goal differential they could find themselves on top in group A but it will need a much better effort.
For Martinique it will be an uphill climb as they try to repeat their 2002 quarterfinals run in the Gold Cup, it’s very unlikely they get far now after surrendering four goals.
It remains to be seen how far Canada can go but they got off on the right foot with their 4-0 win.