Junior Hoilett

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Canada hammers Martinique 4-0 to begin 2019 Gold Cup

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19-year-old Gent striker Jonathan David is your trivia answer of the summer, scoring the opening goals of the 2019 Gold Cup as Canada comfortably downed Martinique 4-0 behind the youngster’s brace.

[ MORE: Ellis and USWNT not ducking France ]

The youngster scored his fifth international goal in just his fifth cap, continuing a hot start to his Canadian career. The winning moment came off a mistake at the back as Martinique goalkeeper Loic Chauvet misfired a pass to defender Daniel Herelle and David pounced, producing a delicious finish that saw him keep his cool to get Chauvet on the ground before clipping into the back of the net.

Martinique did not go down without a fight, as Kevin Parsemain missed a trio of great chances all just before halftime. The first saw him take a Kevin Fortune cross and toe-poke just wide left with the goal gaping, and moments later Atiba Harris was caught in possession leading to a Parsemain breakaway, but Milan Borjan saved low on the shot. Lastly, in first-half stoppage time, Parsemain put Canadian defender Derek Cornelius on his rear but his shot again was saved by Borjan at the near post.

In the second half Canada appeared to come out defensive-minded, and they struck on a ball over the top that completely fleeced the Martinique back line. Davis flashed by the high defensive line and latched onto the long ball from Samuel Piette, firing cooly past Chauvet yet again to put Canada up 2-0.

The floodgates opened after the hour mark, with Junior Hoilett and Scott Arfield both finding the back of the net with the Martinique back line all over the place. The rest of the match featured David going for his hat-trick, dragging a late shot wide left from distance looking for the milestone. Canada secured a solid start to the tournament just hours after the country’s women played to victory over New Zealand out in France at the World Cup.

Cardiff City keeps up safety fight with win over West Ham (video)

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  • Hoilett scores in fourth minute
  • West Ham no 1st half shots on target
  • Camarasa lively, scores in 2nd half

All of the ball, but none of the battle.

West Ham United fell 2-0 to a spirited Cardiff City on Saturday, as the Bluebirds rode goals from Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa to a home win at Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff is two points back of Burnley and Southampton in the race for safety, while West Ham fails to put any heat on Watford and Wolves in the race for 7th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Cardiff scored through the Premier League’s Canadian representative, as Hoilett lifted the home fans following the neat advancement of Victor Camarasa and Josh Murphy.

The Irons allowed the first six shots of the half and did not manage one on target against Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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West Ham was still without a shot on goal when Cardiff doubled its advantage.

It was the same trio of actors from the first goal, with Hoilett cueing up Murphy via a big cross. The latter than headed back to Camarasa for the finish.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

AT HALF: Cardiff ahead, Saints trail; Goals in five matches

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Brighton’s comeback win at Crystal Palace featured three goals, and the five 10 a.m. ET kickoffs around the Premier League are providing more.

[ MORE: Stream the second halves live ]

Cardiff City 1-0 West Ham United

Junior Hoilett scored in the fourth minute and the visitors might honestly still be in London.

Huddersfield Town 0-1 Bournemouth

Callum Wilson profited from some David Brooks and Ryan Fraser work to put the Cherries ahead at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Leicester City 1-0 Fulham

Wilfred Ndidi turned Fulham over at midfield, and Jamie Vardy laid off to Youri Tielemans for his first Premier League goal.

Southampton 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane has been at his best, and collected his 200th goal for club and country off a feed from rejuvenated Dele Alli.

Newcastle United 0-2 Everton

Goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are sandwiched around a Jordan Pickford conceded-and-saved penalty at St. James’ Park.

[ MORE: Premier League box scores, lineups, stats ]

Canada coach Herdman aims for 2022 World Cup

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We haven’t talked about 2022 World Cup qualifying in some time, as the focus was on the USMNT finding its coach, then Gregg Berhalter implementing his style, and soon winning the 2019 Gold Cup to ensure a spot in the 2021 Confederations Cup.

[ MORE: Montreal adds Serie A striker ]

There should be a ton of focus on the U.S. bounce back for any number of reasons, especially considering that qualifying for the next World Cup may be the last time the U.S. has to truly worry about its berth (unless Gianni Infantino gets his way and miraculously implements an expanded field for 2022. Then Berhalter and Co. are set already).

So with three-and-a-half spots available, it’s of-note any time a manager admits his national team side should earn one of those berths in Qatar.

Today, we’re talking about the biggest underachievers in CONCACAF for the better part of the last 20 years, and that’s Canada. The Canucks are led by John Herdman, and he’s bringing a mentality of expectation that’s been lacking from the unit in some time (although there were strides under Benito Floro) From Sportsnet.ca:

“We don’t have excuses. I don’t want to be that guy making them. At the end of the day if we don’t qualify for [2022], it’ll be a disappointment. To put that level of expectations on the team is critical. The team wants that, they’re ready for it. They know it’s now or never for many of them,” Herdman said.

“So, when you say, ‘how do you know it’s going to happen?’, we have to make it happen. But more importantly, we have to believe, and I think that belief is there from the men who are going to be leading the charge.”

He also, albeit not in so many words, admitted that the Canadians have underperformed in recent cycles.

First of all, no one is catching Mexico this cycle. El Tri are in something akin to a golden generation, and have the following stars in their prime: Wolves’ Raul Jimenez, Diego Reyes, and Hector Herrera, with Hirving Lozano getting there and several veteran leaders on the end of their elite window but still easy CONCACAF stars (Memo Ochoa, Hector Moreno, Andres Guardado).

So that’s 2.5 half spots.

Canada is ranked 78th in the world by FIFA and is 68th in the Elo Ratings. That puts them 8th and 7th amongst CONCACAF sides, as El Salvador is much lower in Elo than FIFA (and Elo is superior as an analytical tool. We’ve placed the chart at bottom).

Considering that the USMNT historically underperformed in 2018 qualification and Panama lucked into the tournament via a goal that did not cross the line, and it’s easy to predict a reverse in fortunes for the those two, but can Canada get in the Top Three (or the playoff spot) by moving ahead of 2-3 of the U.S., Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Jamaica (Considering Canada a contender requires they pass El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago).

If anything, the time is now for this group of Canadians, considering they’ll host the 2026 tournament with the U.S. and Canada. Les Rouges have vastly under-performed at two of the last three U-20 World Cups since giving the Americans a scare in the 2013 Round of 16. But they had a quality 2017 Gold Cup, and missed the 2018 World Cup qualifying Hex because Mexico had nothing to play for in the final game and drew Honduras.

Canada is still very low on overall depth and has a generation of player-first entitlement to overcome, but has CONCACAF star power in Alphonso Davies, Junior Hoilett, Scott Arfield, Cyle Larin, and Jonathan Osorio, a UEFA Champions League goalkeeper in Milan Borjan, a rising Liverpool teen in Liam Millar and the wild card of Barcelona property and former Montreal forward Ballou Tabla. Not to mention, the new and promising Canadian Premier League will make it easier for Herdman to scout potential next level stars.

Canada is currently en route for a Pot 3 ranking for the fourth round of World Cup qualifying (the last stop before the Hex). It would be drawn into a group where the main combatants will be one of Mexico, the USMNT, and Costa Rica, and one of Jamaica, Honduras, or El Salvador.

It’s not crazy at all to think Canada would edge Honduras and El Salvador for a top spot, and a group with Costa Rica where points will be live in those two fixtures. And the Canucks have a tactical boss with a chance to outwit another manager.

Hot take: Los Ticos are still long on experience but a bigger question in terms of depth and youth, missing three of four U-20 World Cups. That tournament shouldn’t be the lone arbiter of future goodness, but it’s something.

Even given the 2018 qualifying embarrassment, I fully expect the Yanks to qualify for 2022 in Qatar. Honestly, I think Jamaica might be the third-best group in terms of talent, with Costa Rica and Honduras interesting for different reasons. To borrow from the other football, Panama out-kicked its coverage and should be considered no certainty for the Hex. T&T is tricky at home. If Canada can be, there’s a really good chance they make the Hex.

Cardiff City 2-1 Wolves: Hoilett stunner caps Cardiff comeback

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Cardiff City came back from a 1-0 first-half deficit to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers at home 2-1 for a massive three points in the relegation battle. Aron Gunnarsson and Junior Hoilett were the goalscorers who gave the home fans the day’s excitement, striking 12 minutes apart for the victory.

Wolves struck first 18 minutes in off a corner, the seventh goal Cardiff has conceded from a set-piece this year. The ball swung in and came to the head of Raul Jiminez at the near post. His header was destined for the far corner, but Neil Etheridge made a diving save to push the ball away. His touch fell to a streaking Matt Doherty at the far post, and he roofed the effort from point-blank range.

Cardiff came incredibly close to an equalizer past the half-hour mark after a mad scramble in front of net led to a long-distance volley by Harry Arter that rattled the post, nearly producing a stunning strike.

After the break, Gunnarsson took advantage of poor defending from Wolves to bring Cardiff level. Arter pumped the ball into the box with a clumsy swing that popped it high in the air. Sean Morrison got his head to it, and with Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio indecisive and the rest of the defense nowhere to be found, Gunnarsson lept into the air and scissor-kicked the ball into the net from close range.

That set Cardiff up for the moment of the match came the hosts as Hoilett put them into the lead with 13 minutes to go. Morrison chested down a deep cross into the box, laying it off for Callum Paterson right on the penalty spot, but he whiffed. The ball trickled to substitute Bobby Reid whose wild swing was blocked, and eventually the ball landed at the feet of Hoilett at the top-left corner of the box. He produced what the others could not, a moment of perfection that sailed effortlessly into the top corner of the net, past a helplessly outstretched Rui Patricio.

That strike against the run of play set Cardiff City up for all three points, as the home side kept Wolves off the scoreboard the rest of the way and earned the three points. It was the perfect 70th birthday for Neil Warnock, as his side moved out of the relegation zone with its third win of the season.

For Wolves, it’s a disappointing result against a team they were expected to beat. They miss the chance to jump into the top half of the table, instead sitting in 11th, two points back of Leicester City.