Millar on as sub as Canada thrash Bermuda
Liam Millar came on as a 70th minute substitute and crossed for Wolves prospect Theo Corbeanu to finish the rout of Bermuda 5-1 in last night’s first Group B CONCACAF World Cup qualifier.
It was a home game for the Canucks, but the game was held in Orlando due to Covid restrictions in Canada. It did not stop Canada’s best players travelling to Florida including Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and 7 others that play in Europe incluidng Millar, Cardiff’s Junior Joilett and hat trick hero Cyle Larin, who plays for Besiktas.
Bermuda were missing their talisman Nakhi Wells, who didn’t travel for the game due to Covid restrictions. Manager Kyle Lightbourne was also missing due to testing positive for Covid last week, and had to stay home in quarantine.
It was a sign that Canada had twelve players on their bench to Bermuda’s five, and the their side was mostly made up of players that play domestically in a league that has been suspended since early December. The final score was no surprise especially when you consider Alphonso Davies, one of Europe’s best players, was up against Lejaun Simmons, who plays for Robin Hood, which literally began life as a pub team!
Liam Millar started on the bench but replaced Cavallini in the 2nd half and played well, and got the assist for the 5th goal. The Bermuda goal was scored by 20-year old Kane Critchlow, who is on Watford’s books.
Bermuda stay in Florida and play Aruba in Bradenton, near Sarasota next Tuesday. Canada play ‘away’ to the Cayman Islands on Sunday using the same facility at the IMG Academy.
This is a long journey to the road to Qatar from here. Just one qualifies from these group stages to advance to the 2nd Round. They will be two-legged ties with the three winners joining the five highest ranked teams in the region – Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras.
They then will play in a league format with only the top three going to Qatar.
It’s fair to say we won’t be seeing Bermuda in Qatar, but Canada if they can rely on their best players could go a long way.
CA, Canada’s men’s senior squad, unlike the women, has been underachieving for a number of years now, but there are signs that things are on the upswing, as some exciting young players are beginning to emerge, not the least of whom is Bayern Munich’s, Alphonso Davies, who you singled out.
While football (soccer) is widely played in Canada, it is still the fifth professional team sport on the rung (three teams in MLS) and for the majority of kids playing, it has always been more of a short-term, youth recreational game, rather than one where the participants hope to go on to professional fame and riches.
This has changed a great deal with Soccer Canada now having some excellent development initiatives in place, wherein the youth teams are beginning to have some international successes.
There are Canadians now playing professionally all over the world, but gathering their best squad together at one time continues to be a problem, so there is plenty of work still to be done.
As well, they are consistently coming up against more established and successful CONCACAF teams such as the USA and Mexico, so it is not an easy ascent.
In any event, full marks to Bermuda, Aruba, Cayman Islands and other small locales, who get out there and give it their best.
Thanks Bob. Be interesting to see how good some of these young players are when we get to the 2026 World Cup. The USA have a very good batch of young players too.