Tajon Buchanan and the Canadian National Team opened CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage play on Sunday as they took on Martinique at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.
The Revolution midfielder would earn his fifth cap and his second start for the Canadian National Team as he was a part of Sunday’s starting XI.
Similar to when dawning a Revs jersey, Martinique did everything in their power to halt the Brampton native. Buchanan would be fouled three times throughout the first 45 minutes of the match.
Buchanan looked to get the ball rolling early in the match as he advanced the ball into Martinique’s box. Martinique’s defense realized the mistake and quickly dispossessed Buchanan and put an end to Canada’s offensive effort.
In a shocking turn of events in the 10th minute Crotone forward Emmanuel Rivière would cartwheel and backflip into the scoring column for Martinique after taking advantage of a defensive blunder from the Canadian defense. After a bad back pass from Mark-Anthony Kaye, Martinique would work the ball to Rivière, who flicked the ball to the left post. Kaye looked to clear the ball away from the net but failed to get a foot onto it.
Canada wasted no time drawing the game level as Cyle Larin would head home a corner kick from Junior Hoilett in the 16th minute.
Buchanan was lights out for the Canadian offense in the first half. The 22-year-old would work his magic in the 20th minute as he advanced the ball into the Martinique box. Buchanan would flick the ball back to an awaiting Jonathan Osorio atop the 6-yard-box, who put the ball in the back of the net, earning himself an assist.
Buchanan would come up big again in the 26th minute as his pass would find Hoilett atop the box. Hoilett would then find Stephen Estuaquio driving just outside the box, who would send a shot from the penalty arch and into the back of the net, giving Canada a 3-1 lead.
It was a slower second half for Buchanan as he was not too involved in the offense. However, he would continue to be fouled by Martinique. Tajon would be fouled two more times in the second half. Pushing his overall numbers to five fouls received on the night for the 22-year-old midfielder.
Theodore Corbeanu would make an impact after coming into the match for Larin in the 74th minute as he would slot home an easy goal on a wide-open net in the 89th minute. After taking advantage of a defensive turnover from Martinique, Luis Cavalini would send a cross to Corbeanu, who had an easy time finding the back of the net.
A busy night for the referees as a total of nine yellow cards and 38 fouls were called throughout the match.
Canada’s 4-1 win over Martinique pushes their goal differential to +3 goals as they awaited the United States opener against Haiti
Buchanan and Canada return to Gold Cup group stage action on Thursday, July 15th, as they take on Haiti at 7:30 PM EST.