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Cayman Islands ... 0 Canada ... 11 (Eleven)

CONCACAF must do better in restructuring its World Cup qualifying structure...

Cavallini and Davies celebrate one of the eleven goals...

If it was golf, they’d be introducing a handicap system. If it were boxing the contest would never be sanctioned in the first place.

There was no glory for Canada in this evening’s result which serves only to further dent the credibility of arguably world football’s least organized confederation, CONCACAF.

Canada probably should’ve won by a greater margin. And CONCACAF probably should think a little deeper about its WC qualification structure for next time, 2026.

This wasn’t fun, and pretty much served simply to waste everyone’s time. A country with a population the size of Drummondville, Quebec going up against well-honed professionals like Alphonso Davies, Lucas Cavallini, Cyle Larin and Mark-Anthony Kaye just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Canada could have played at Stade Saputo against a top PLSQ side and found itself in a tougher game.

David Wotherspoon (white shirt, extreme left) receives Alphonso Davies’ congratulations on scoring his goal.

Of course some will argue the situation is a legacy of continual Canadian under-achievement in World Cup football since 1986, and they’d be right, but it still doesn’t mean some kind of preliminary round shouldn’t be considered before CONCACAF qualifiers for 2026 are drawn.

The enthusiasm for every Canadian goal on the OneSoccer broadcast was excruciatingly painful to listen to. They’d have been laughing out loud at this in South America and Europe, but why would fans from those continents even bother tuning in for such a mismatch of huge proportions?

And it’s likely to get even worse next time, when Canada face an Aruba team ranked even lower than Cayman Islands. Should be a real thriller. What should Canada shoot for on that occasion? To equal the Canadian cricket team’s record score?

I’ve already referred to the match commentary, but I get it, they’re trying to make it exciting for the viewer, trying to build up an audience and promote the team and their purposeful channel, but it’s still hard to listen to. Maybe it does have some folks jumping on the bandwagon, but I’m not so sure. There’s nothing like finding success in a competitive environment for doing such a thing, but that scenario remains a few months off, at least.

Watching John Herdman fielding press-conference questions and telling the media there’s a degree of ‘difficulty in these types of matches too’, and ‘these games test men’, doesn’t really wash. Neither does his statement that ‘goal difference’ in this first stage of qualifiers is ‘important’.

Nor for that matter does his preference for Canada to ‘get these fixtures on death ground’ rather than ‘being like the USA and playing friendlies against the likes of Northern Ireland,’ as they did on Sunday.

Death ground - Really? The death ground the head coach refers to surely can mean only the weakling opposition his side has massacred this week. The US is actually facing much better opposition, even if in friendlies, in much more competitive environments. I can’t for one second believe that what Herdman says in this respect is what Herdman really thinks.

This is not intended to derail or criticize the Canadian WC effort. Far from it. For now, it is what it is. Herdman’s team (and I think it is progressing well) can only take on and beat whatever opposition is put in front of them.

But let’s save all the ‘this is a difficult game’ rhetoric and TV hyperbole centred around stuffing nobodies. Let’s save that for when we get to Haiti and hopefully, beyond, when if Canada can sustain the current run of victories, the hype will be warranted and appropriate.
And let’s hope CONCACAF can sort something out for future WC qualifications that precludes teams and fans from having to endure what we did this evening.

For the record... Canada’s goals came as follows -

Sturing (6), Larin (14), Wotherspoon (25), Davies (pen) 28, Kaye (33), Johnston (43)

Half-time - 0-6

Kaye (63), Cavallini (68), Davies (73), Cavallini (74), Cavallini (76).

Vancover’s Lucas Cavallini helped himself to a hat-trick despite being on the field for only 30 mins.

Line-ups -

Cayman Is. - Gray - Duval (Campbell, 65), Ebanks, J (Ebanks, T, 84), Holness, Ebanks, M (Byles, 70) - Hyde, Reeves (Parchmont, 65), Rowe, Frederick (Dixon, 85) - Lee
Coach: Benjamin Pugh

Canada - Crepeau - Johnston (Laryea, 68), Ferreira, Sturing - Wotherspoon, Piette (Eustaquio, 68), Kaye - Corbeanu (Hoilett, 61), Larin (Cavallini, 60), Miller (Adekugbe, 60)
Coach: John Herdman

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