Cyle Larin (pictured) scored his fourth World Cup qualifying goal in Canada's win over visiting El Salvador on September 6, 2016, in Vancouver. (Photo: Mexsport)
VANCOUVER, Canada -- Canada’s qualification bid is over despite a 3-1 victory over 10-man El Salvador in both teams’ final match of the fourth-round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday night.
Cyle Larin, Nikolas Ledgerwood and David Edgar scored for The Canucks (2W-1D-3L, 7pts), who entered BC Place needing a victory over The Cuscatlecos (0-2-4, 2) and some help to reach their first CONCACAF Hexagonal since the 1998 qualifying cycle.
Instead, Honduras (2-2-2, 8) earned a 0-0 draw at Mexico in the other fourth-round Group A match to ensure progress with a second-place finish. With the Canada result, The Catrachos could’ve suffered a two-goal loss and still advanced with a better goal difference.
Nelson Bonilla scored for El Salvador, which had already been eliminated from contention following a 3-1 home loss to Mexico last Friday.
Junior Hoilett set up the first two goals for Canada, which scored one more goal in its last fourth-round match than in its previous five combined.
The host took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute as the result of El Salvador defender Juan Barahona’s deflected clearance attempt.
As the ball slammed into the pressuring Hoilett, it bounded in front of the goal to a wide open Larin, who controlled it before ripping a side volley past goalkeeper Oscar Arroyo.
It was 2-0 eight minutes after halftime on another goal set up by Hoilett.
After taking Atiba Hutchinson’s pass, he slalomed into the penalty area past three Salvadoran defenders. Then just as he lost his footing, he poked a pass to Ledgerwood, who easily thumped home a finish from about 12 yards.
Darwin Ceren compounded El Salvador’s damage three minutes later, when he was dismissed for his second bookable offense, a heavy challenge on Hoilett.
That pushed Canada to press further forward. But eventually the visitors took advantage to strike back in the 78th minute.
Substitute Gersen Mayen got free down the right on a counter, cut back to elude a defender and then sent a low cross to Bonilla, who guided home an uncontested finish.
The Canucks pushed the advantage back to two in second-half stoppage time when Edgar poked Tosaint Ricketts’ cross beyond Arroyo and inside the left post.