Sunday, December 17, 2017

French Guyana 2 Canada 4: Arfield leads the way in nervy win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jul 2017

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Canada recorded an entertaining 4-2 win over French Guyana in the opening game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Friday.

First-half goals from Dejan Jakovic and Scott Arfield, who both netted at senior international level for the first time, appeared to have Canada in control of the Group A clash at Red Bull Arena.

They were cruising when Alphonso Davies, 16, made it 3-0 on the hour-mark to become the nation’s youngest ever goalscorer, only for minnows French Guyana to fight back.

Roy Contout and Sloan Privat struck in the space of two minutes, but Canada sealed their win through Davies in driving rain in Harrison, New Jersey.

Canada made five changes to the starting side that beat Curacao in their most recent outing, including handing Lucas Cavallini a start up front.

In their first Gold Cup appearance and amid confusion over the eligibility of some of their squad, French Guyana left out former Chelsea attacker Florent Malouda.

Canada had the better of the opening exchanges, with Junior Hoilett forcing Donovan Leon into a relatively comfortable save with an early 20-yard free-kick.

They threatened again twice in the 18th minute, Arfield’s deflected strike going just wide before Cavallini missed the target with a header.

The goal finally came for Canada in the 28th minute.

Arfield’s whipped set-piece from the right caused trouble, with Jakovic forcing it in with his body after Leon had managed to only get fingertips on the cross.

Burnley midfielder Arfield doubled the lead just before half-time, his left-footed effort from 20 yards beating Leon, who perhaps should have done better.

Canada, the 2000 Gold Cup champions, made it 3-0 through Davies, who finished neatly after being played through by Cavallini in the 60th minute.

They appeared in complete control, only for French Guyana to remarkably hit back twice.

Contout pulled a goal back in the 69th minute before Privat tapped in an Arnold Abelinti pass to put Canada under pressure.

But Davies ensured Canada took all three points, putting away an Anthony Jackson-Hamel pass in the 85th minute.

Canada face a far tougher test in their next group game against Costa Rica on Tuesday, while French Guyana take on Honduras.

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