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Friday, October 22, 2021

Alphonso Davies leads way as Canada downs Panama in World Cup qualifier

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TORONTO –

Alphonso Davies’ highlight-reel goal helped open the floodgates as Canada roared to a 4-1 victory over Panama on Wednesday in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying play.

The Canadian men had Panama under the cosh but didn’t pull ahead until the 66th minute when the 20-year-old Bayern Munich star came out of nowhere down the right flank to pilfer the ball from under the feet of defender Harold Cummings, who thought the ball was about to go out.

Davies got to the ball before it did, danced around defender Fidel Escobar and — using Jonathan David as a decoy — fired a low shot that left goalkeeper Luis Mejia rooted to the spot for a 2-1 lead. It was Davies’ 10th goal in his 28th match for Canada.

The Canadians, still unbeaten at 2-0-4, turned on the offence after the goal.

Tajon Buchanan made it 3-1 in the 71st, heading home a Richie Laryea cross for his third goal for Canada. David then scored in the 78th minute, slotting the ball home on a counter-attack off a feed from Davies with the Panama defence in disarray. It was the 17th goal in 22 internationals for the Lille striker.

Davies left in the 81st minute to a standing ovation. A Panama goal in the 85th was waved off for offside.

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