Tajon Buchanan and Team Canada returned to CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying action on Wednesday night as they hosted El Salvador at BMO Field.
Canada looked to secure their first win in the Octagonal as they picked up 1-1 draws against Honduras and the United States. El Salvador was also looking for their first goal of the Octagonal as they drew 0-0 in consecutive matches against the United States and Honduras.
Buchanan would return to the starting XI after coming on as a sub in Canada’s previous match. Wednesday’s start was the 22-year-old’s twelfth appearance and eighth start for the Canadian National Team.
Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson would waste no time as he found the back of the net in the 6th minute. Junior Hoilett would get the offensive run started as he sent a pass to Jonathan Osorio, who would find Richie Laryea. Laryea would take the ball to the touchline, where he cut it inwards to Hutchinson, who slotted the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net.
Tempers flared in the 9th minute as Alex Roldan would foul Buchanan. Both sides would jaw off and exchange some shoves.
Jonathan David would extend Canada’s lead to two in the 11th minute as he was able to head Buchanan’s cross from inside the box into the left side of the net.
Nervy moments for El Salvador came in the 18th minute as they failed to clear the ball from their box as Canada looked to generate another chance. Luckily for El Salvador, they kept Canada in check and prevented them from adding a third goal.
Buchanan would receive a yellow card after shoving Alexander Larín after he felt he had been struck in the head by Larín’s knee after being fouled. Buchanan’s shove would add to the existing tension between both teams.
Hoilett looked to find the back of the net as he sent a shot on goal from outside the box. Mario González was all over the ball as he scooped it up and ended Hoilett’s chance.
Defender Jonathan Osorio looked to add to Canada’s lead in the 32nd minute as he sent a shot on El Salvador’s goal, but it would curl wide right of the right post and out for a goal kick.
Duenas came close to putting one on the board for El Salvador in the 37th minute. His shot from outside of the box took a deflection off a Canadian defender. The deflection would curve towards the upper right corner of the net, but it was wide as it went out for an El Salvador corner kick.
It was a productive half for Canada as they entered the locker room up 2-0 as they looked to secure their first octagonal win.
El Salvador came out swinging in the second half as Steven Vitoria had to clear away a dangerous cross in the 46th minute.
Defender Alistar Johnson looked to find someone in the box in the 49th minute as he sent a whipping pass across the box. Unfortunately for Johnson, no one was in the box to take care of the pass as it sailed out for an El Salvador throw-in.
Osorio looked to break through the backline as he attempted to push his way through the El Salvador backline. El Salvador was able to stay strong as they put an end to Osorio’s offensive effort.
David flashed his defensive intelligence in the 59th minute as he was able to turn on the jets and intercept a pass from an El Salvadorian defender. David got onto the ball and began to push on a weakly defended goal. As he made the defender break towards him, David sent a pass across the field to find an open Buchanan.
Buchanan would send a right-footed shot past the keeper and into the back of the net. Buchanan’s 59th-minute goal would be the Brampton, Ontario-native’s second goal with the Canadian National Team.
Milan Borjan and Laryea would come up clutch for Canada in the 67th minute as Borjan was able to deflect Joaquín Henríquez’s close-range header away from the net. Laryea would place a perfectly timed tackle to prevent a follow-up shot from El Salvador.
BMO Field erupted as Team Canada was able to hold on and secure a 3-0 victory over El Salvador. With the win, Canada maintained third place as they pushed their point total to 5 through the first three matches.
Canada returns to action in the octagonal in October as they take on Mexico, Jamaica, and Panama.