Alphonso Davies just made his mark in the international game with two goals in his first competitive match for Canada as he led the team to a 4-2 win over French Guiana.
Davies first clear opportunity came when he beat the offside trap with only the goaltender to beat and Lucas Cavallini at his side. Unfortunately, Davies took an extra touch that gave the FG defender time to recover in front of goal. Had he passed even a step earlier, Cavallini would have had an open goal. Cavallini was understandably frustrated and must have got in Davies’ head, for the next time the two Canadian forwards bore down on their opponents goal Davies chose to cut the ball back to Cavallini instead of take the shot. He should have taken the shot.
Any other sixteen year old playing a man’s game would have never mentally recovered, but not Davies. For his first goal, he was sprung loose with a pass from Arfield. Davies flew by his defender and came face to face with the keeper... waited... and slotted the ball between the keeper’s legs and into the net.
Davies second goal was somewhat similar, when after Teibert moved the ball forward to Jackson Hamel, who sent it on to Davies, and once more, Davies calmly slotted the ball between the tenders legs.
It is not just that a sixteen year old managed to get open and score two goals in an international competition, but its the composure that Davies showed on each goal. How many grown men have we seen in a Whitecaps shirt over the last six and half years find their heart shoot up their throats when clean on goal, only to send the ball skyward, or placed comfortably in the keepers midsection. Davies hasn’t scored many MLS goals yet, but there is no doubt this young man knows what to do when in on goal, and has the stones to do it.
Canada lost their 3-0 lead, their concentration and their composure in the middle of the second half, and French Guiana who couldn’t make a pass in the final third suddenly looked like they had unhinged the Canadian defense. It took Davies cool calm in front of goal to put the game away when it was most certainly on the line.
French Guiana is the weakest team Canada will face in this Gold Cup, and until the final twenty-five minutes of the match didn’t threaten at all. But, let’s enjoy this. The CMNT hasn’t won or scored a goal in the last three Gold Cups. They now have a win and four goals.
Other ‘Caps in the game:
Marcel de Jong played a rugged game in defense as LB, and was strong up the wing. As the most capped Canadian in the match, he was given the captain’s armband.
Teibert came on as a late sub and was part of the team’s struggle to regain its composure after giving up 2 goals in 2 minutes. It was his ball that started the play that led to Davies’ second goal.