Tajon Buchanan and Matt Turner returned to CONCACAF Gold Cup action as their respective nations met in their final match of group stage action.
Canada came into Sunday’s matchup atop Group B with consecutive 4-1 wins over Martinique and Haiti. The United States came into the match second in Group B after a 1-0 win over Haiti and a 6-1 win over Martinique. Both Canada and the US were tied on goal differential with a +6-goal differential.
Buchanan saw a slight positional change as John Herdman had the 22-year-old midfielder transition to a more defensive midfield position on the left side of the pitch.
It was a tough start for the young Canadian as right back Shaq Moore would slip his way past Buchanan inside the box. Sebastian Lletget would then send a pass towards the right side of the box that managed to avoid Canadian defenders and a diving Maxime Crépeau where it would find a wide-open Moore. The 24-year-old right back would slot the ball into the back of the net just 20 seconds into the match. Moore’s first national team goal would be the United States’ fastest goal in Gold Cup history.
Controversy entered the match in the 10th minute as Walker Zimmerman and Richie Laryea ran towards the United States goal. Before entering the box, Laryea slightly pulled on Zimmerman, causing the Nashville SC defender to lose control.
Laryea attempted to get himself in front of the out-of-control Zimmerman and get onto the ball. Zimmerman would tumble down to the pitch into the path of Laryea, who would also fall onto the pitch. Both Laryea and Zimmerman would stay down as medical personnel would tend to both players. Zimmerman appeared to be shaken up as staff evaluated his right knee. Zimmerman would get up but would limp off the pitch. He would eventually be replaced in the 15th minute by Donovan Pines.
Zimmerman would not be the lone injury in the first half as Ayo Akinola had to make an early exit after being tackled from behind by NYCFC defender James Sands. Jonathan Osorio would come on for the injured Akinola in the 24th minute.
Daryl Dike looked to extend the US lead in the 26th minute after breaking through Canada’s defense on the left side of the pitch. Dike had a wide-open path towards goal, but Laryea would turn on the jets and execute a perfectly timed tackle on Dike that dispossessed the Orlando City striker and put an end to a phenomenal offensive effort from the United States.
Canada generated a few offensive chances towards the end of the half but could not find the equalizer before the halftime whistle sounded.
Canada came into the second half looking to erase the deficit on the scoreboard. Cyle Larin took advantage of a bad back pass by the US defense in the 45th minute and rushed towards Matt Turner and the US goal. Larin would send a shot at Turner from the top of the box, but it was saved.
Buchanan looked to get the upper hand on his Revolution teammate and tie it for Canada in the 48th minute, but Turner would have the upper hand as he would save Buchanan’s shot.
Injuries would continue to pile up in the second half as Luis Cavallini would replace an injured Larin in the 53rd. Cavallini looked to take advantage of a US turnover in the 59th minute, but as he took the ball towards the middle, a US defender dispossessed him.
A flurry of substitutions came for both sides in the 73rd minute as Canada had Mark-Anthony Kaye and Tyler Pasher come on for Samuel Piette and Junior Hoilett. The United States would have Jackson Yueill, Matthew Hoppe, and Cristian Roldan come on for Gianluca Busio, Kellyn Acosta, and Gyasi Zardes.
Buchanan looked to get Canada back into the match in the 79th minute as he found himself one-on-one with Roldan. After shaking Roldan off towards the top left corner of the box, Buchanan pulled back and looked to send a ball past his teammate and into the top right corner.
As the ball soared in the air, Turner leaped to his left but could not get himself high enough. Luckily for Turner and the United States, Buchanan’s shot was a tad high as it flew out for a goal kick. Turner would continue to do Turner things in second-half stoppage time as he got Cavallini’s shot.
With Sunday’s 1-0 shutout over Canada, the United States clinches the top spot in Group B. The US will take on the Group C runner-up in the Quarterfinals. Canada clinched second place in Group B and will take on the winner of Group C. Costa Rica and Jamacia sit atop Group C as both sides will meet on Tuesday.