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Canada stun US to close in on World Cup berth


Hamilton (Canada) (AFP) – Canada took a giant step towards their first World Cup qualification in 36 years on Sunday after scoring an upset 2-0 victory over arch-rivals the United States in CONCACAF qualifiers.

A Cyle Larin goal after just seven minutes and an injury time effort from Sam Adekugbe secured all three points for the Canadians at a frigid Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton to extend the home side’s lead at the top of the CONCACAF standings.

The unbeaten Canadians now have 22 points from four games with four fixtures remaining, pulling four points clear of the USA who are second with 18 points.

Canada have emerged as the surprise package from the Central America, North America and the Caribbean qualifying region, and are now firmly on course for only their second trip to the World Cup after reaching the Mexico finals in 1986.

Mexico, who face Costa Rica in Mexico City later Sunday, can leapfrog the USA into second place with a victory. 

The top three sides in the eight-team round-robin table qualify automatically for this year’s finals in Qatar.

But the defeat piles pressure on USA coach Gregg Berhalter, whose team face Honduras at home on Wednesday before a tricky final three games in March which includes away trips to Mexico and Costa Rica and a home game against Panama.

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