Friday, September 30 2022

“[Costa Rica] was like the punch we needed to get back to earth,” said Canada coach John Herdman. “Get your feet on the ground, let’s go. Let’s just get back to business. We can talk about small improvements and wanting to play a style of football, but at the end of the day, a group of men have to put Canada in a World Cup and they are going to have to work for it, and hard, [on Sunday] against Jamaica under really difficult conditions.

“I think it’s going to be good for us [to play at home]said midfielder Stephen Eustaquio. “The whole country is playing tomorrow; not just us and there is no panama game [on Wednesday]it’s our last chance, that’s what we think.

Anticipation builds. The dream is within reach. Now it’s just a matter of mentally locking in and getting the job done.

It promises to be a special night in Toronto, but despite Canada being the favorites, there are some intriguing roster questions that come into play.

Sam Adekugbe and Doneil Henry return from suspension which should strengthen the back line, especially if centre-back Steven Vitoria fails to pass a late fitness test. Henry is Vitoria’s usual replacement while Adekugbe has been a revelation at left-back since the November window.

However, the suspension of Mark-Anthony Kaye coupled with Atiba Hutchinson registering 90 minutes on Thursday potentially leaves two spots open in midfield. If Herdman goes for a 4-4-2 with a double pivot, then Jonathan Osorio and Stephen Eustaquio could be the go-to options.

Given that Jamaica are likely to start with three central midfielders, it would behoove Canada to use their own line. This could be the chance for 19-year-old Ismael Kone to start alongside Osorio and Eustaquio.

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