Mexico's Javier Hernandez (pictured) celebrates after scoring against host Canada in a World Cup qualifier on March 25, 2016, in Vancouver. (Photo: Mexsport)
VANCOUVER, Canada -- Mexico maintained its perfect record in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 3-0 win over host Canada on Friday night before a record crowd of 54,798 at BC Place.
The Tricolor now sits comfortably atop Group A with a nine points from three games, while Canada stays in second with four. El Salvador (2 points) and Honduras (1 point) are third and fourth after their 2-2 draw earlier in the evening.
Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano and Jesus Corona were on target for the Mexicans, who extended their unbeaten streak to 16 games in all competitions.
It was an even start to the fourth-round encounter, but the visitor found its feet and forced some fine saves out of Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
There wasn’t much he could do in the 32nd minute, when Hernandez headed a brilliantly placed left-sided cross by Miguel Layun past Borjan from 10-yards out.
Eight minutes later, Lozano continued his scoring record against Canadian teams after a turnover saw him race into the right side of the Canadian box and drill a right-footed shot from 12 yards high and inside the near post. The 20-year-old Pachuca star also scored against Canada’s under-23 team last year at the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Scott Arfield was handed his Canada debut in the second half and had an on-target effort, only for Mexico to add a third in the 72nd minute.
With lightning-like speed, a rough Canadian clearance was immediately sent back into the left side of the box, where Corona was standing completely unmarked. The skillful midfielder used patience to cut inside, before unleashing a right-footed rocket off Borjan’s hands and into the back of the net from 13-yards out.
The sides will meet again on Tuesday at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.