Canada stuns U.S. in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying
Doneil Henry, Lucas Cavallini each score in 2-0 win
The final results of Canada's match against the United States on Saturday will turn some heads.
Doneil Henry and Lucas Cavallini each scored as Canada stunned the Americans 2-0 at the CONCACAF men's Olympic qualifying tournament.
It was an upset win for Canada, as many had predicted the United States would roll through the tournament, easily qualify for the Olympics and potentially challenge for a medal.
Canada's joy was diminished at the end of the match when forward Randy Edwini-Bonsu, who was one of Canada's most dangerous players all night, was issued a straight red card by referee Jafeth Perea just after he was substituted.
"I didn't know as well so I only saw the fourth official calling the referee and giving him instructions to give the red card to [Edwini-Bonsu]," said Canadian head coach Tony Fonseca in his post-game press conference. "But I didn't see anything, I didn't hear anything. Honestly I don't know what happened."
El Salvador blanks Cuba
Andres Flores scored twice to lead El Salvador over Cuba 4-0 Saturday in the qualifying for the men's Olympic soccer tournament.
El Salvador plays the United States on Monday, and the top two teams in the group advance to the semifinals of North and Central America and the Caribbean. The semifinal winners on March 31 qualify for London.
Lester Blanco put El Salvador ahead in the fourth minute. Cuban captain Carlos Domingo Francisco was ejected in the 49th for his second yellow card, assessed after he stepped on Blanco's calf. Flores scored four minutes later off a pass from Isidro Gutierrez. Richard Menjivar scored in the 69th minute, and Flores got his second goal in the 80th minute just an El Salvador shot clanked off the crossbar.
— The Associated Press
Before leaving the field, a clearly upset Edwini-Bonsu had to be restrained by members of the Canadian staff. Fonseca was also visibly upset as he made his way to the locker-room after the game.
Canada (2-0) took the lead in the 57th minute when Henry leapt in front of American goalkeeper Bilal Hamid to head in a goal off a corner kick.
"[Henry] was a big talker and he told me to give it to him on his head and I finally found him," said midfield Phillipe Davies, who took the corner kick that Henry converted. "I tried the two previous [corners] and the third one was the good one."
Davies also put the low cross in that Cavallini headed in for the insurance goal.
The 10,578 predominantly American fans, who were quite vocal up to that point, were silenced as Canada took a deserved lead.
"It was great. There's no better feeling than that," said Phillipe Davies. "We're playing in America and we beat them 2-0 — great."
Cavallini added the insurance goal in the 64th minute after diving in to head a low pass into the American net.
"It makes it special that everyone wrote this team off from the beginning," said team captain Nana Attakora. "We all believed in each other and [coach Tony Fonseca's] tactics and it worked.
The U.S. (1-1) quickly regained momentum but Canadian keeper Michal Misiewicz made a pair of big saves two minutes later to maintain the clean sheet.
The Americans thought they had gone ahead in the 48th minute when Ike Opara headed a Freddy Adu free kick into the goal, but Opara was called offside.
The U.S. had another chance in the 66th minute after the referee gave a yellow card to Canadian Andres Fresenga for wasting time on the ground, but Brek Shea's kick banged off the side of the net.
Teal Bunbury, the son of Canadian Hall of Famer Alex Bunbury, made the start for the U.S. and was substituted out in the 56th minute.
Canada now sits tied with El Salvador atop Group A in the tournament. Canada still has to play Cuba on Monday while the Americans take on El Salvador.
"The coaches told us we can't get overconfident. We still have a game on Monday and if we lose that game, this game is meaningless," said Attakora. "We can enjoy it for tonight but tomorrow we need to get ourselves level-headed and ready to put in work on Monday."
The top two teams in this group advance to the tournament semifinals. Eight teams are playing for one of two spots available to the CONCACAF region for the upcoming London Olympics.
Canada has not qualified for the Olympics in men's soccer since 1984 and came into the game 1-4-2 all-time against the U.S. in the qualifying tournament.