There was a lot of uncertainty going into this Gold Cup as the Canadian Soccer Federation moved on from Benito Floro and decided to go with a grizzled MLS coaching veteran in Octavio Zambrano.
So far the choices Zambrano made for the starting eleven were perfect and that included bringing in Vancouver Whitecaps starter Alphonso Davies who bagged a brace in the 4-2 victory as Canada begins their Gold Cup Campaign with the full three points.
Repasamos los mejores momentos de #GUF 2 - 4 #CAN #CopaOro2017 #GUFvCAN #GoldenMoment @CanadaSoccerEN #GuayanaFrancesa pic.twitter.com/N11YEAsIhf— Gold Cup 2017 (@GoldCup) July 8, 2017
Alphonso Davies was the hero of the match as he converted twice for Canada and became the youngest goal scorer in the history of the Gold Cup. In the 60th minute, he gets a great ball from Lucas Cavallini to spring him on the attack run and off to the races he went.
As soon as Davies get into the area he slotted his shot past goalkeeper Donovan Leon and those Canadians who came to Red Bull Arena erupted with glee, he scored his second of the match as he linked up with Montreal Impact attacker Anthony Jackson-Hamel late in the second half.
The ball was played along the near side and as soon as Jackson-Hamel got control of it, he whips across to a wide open Davies and he calmly shot it past Leon again for his second of the match and the first three points in group stage play since the 2011 Gold Cup.
"We had a shaky start, but as the match went on we(Cavallini) got comfortable with each other and I made my run to the middle because I knew he was playing that so I tried to take a big punch." Said Davies, "On the partnership with Jackson-Hamel it's a pretty good relationship, we try to have a competition with each other in training."
It all got started in the 28th minute as Scott Arfield created the first goal and scored the second as he crossed a free kick into the French Guiana area and out of nowhere Dejean Jakovic turned his back towards the ball and deflected it into the net.
The goal that Arfield converted inside the only minute of first half stoppage time was a beauty as he controlled a loose ball and took a hard rip towards goal. Even though Leon did get his fingers on top of the ball, it wasn't enough to stop it.
"I try to react and play striker whenever it's possible when you have the license to go forward like Sammy and Patrice does." Said Arfield, "They probably don't get the credit that they deserve, when you are a part of that midfield three you have the license to go forward and the pace of the ball the keeper couldn't get to it."
Even though French Guiana did put a scare into Canada and was able to pull back two goals and make it a one-goal game, there was a difference to this Canadian side than in the past. They never lost composure, never lost their nerve and found a way to continue to attack while defending against this CONCACAF minnow and got that fourth goal.
"We definitely wanted to start the game with a goal in the first fifteen minutes and control the game after that, but you don't always get what you wanted and I saw glimpses of what I want for this team." Said Ocatvio Zambrano, "We had a breakdown at one point that we need to examine and watch the video tape to correct it, but it was good enough for three points at the end of the day."
And so it was and now Canada will face Costa Rica in their second Group Stage Match as they will face one of the toughest sides within Central America, can they try to match wits with the Ticos and pull off an upset? That will be the biggest question for them in three to four days.