Canada took a different approach, turning the tables on the Mexicans right from the opening kickoff. Herdman set his team up in an attacking 3-4-3 formation, and instead of deploying Alphonso Davies and Tajon Buchanan as fullbacks, he pushed them further up the field, partnering them with Jonathan David as part of a dangerous front three.
Of all the matches played at the venerable venue, though, one stands out above all others: Italy’s 4-3 extra time win over West Germany in the semifinals of the 1970 World Cup. One of the greatest games in the sport’s history, it was instantly considered a classic, and a commemorative bronze plaque was affixed to a wall of the Azteca celebrating the contest just days after the Italians’ epic win. There will not be a second plaque ordered for the Azteca following Canada’s 1-1 draw against Mexico in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Thursday night. It’s a result the Mexicans would like to forget.
But for the Canadians, it was their “Match Of The Century. ” Davies with the pass, Osorio with the finish!! @OsoJ92 ties things up for @CanadaSoccerEN. #CANMNT | #WCQ pic. twitter. com/VqhKNCVuwg — Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 8, 2021 Historically the Azteca has been the place where Canada’s hopes have gone to die spectacular deaths. The Canadians have never won there, with six losses in eight games, including an 8-0 thrashing suffered during the 1993 Gold Cup. The last time the Reds picked up a point there or even scored was in a 1-1 draw in 1980, and they had been outscored 20-0 by the Mexicans in their previous five visits. But those results are firmly in the past and meant absolutely nothing to the most talented and fearless group of Canadian players in the history of the men’s team, nor to coach John Herdman. So many visiting sides play it safe within the intimidating confines of the Azteca.
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Canada sends message with fearless performance vs. Mexico at AztecaOctober 8, 2021, 11:47 AMThe Mexicans refer to it as “El Partido Del Siglo” -- The Match Of The Century -- and even though it happened more than 50 years ago, it still holds a special place in the rich lore and tradition of Estadio Azteca. The Azteca is truly one of world soccer’s ultimate cathedrals, having hosted two FIFA World Cup finals, and bearing witness to Diego Maradona’s legendary act of trickery and his brilliance for Argentina against England.
But the Canadian back line held firm, and Mexico couldn’t find a way through. Boos rained down from fans in the terraces of the Azteca after the final whistle as the Mexican players trudged off the pitch. For Canada, it was a valuable point earned in what is shaping up to be a tight World Cup qualifying race in Concacaf. But just as important, a point was made at the Azteca. This is not the same Canadian side that has long served as doormats in the Concacaf region. Buoyed by the talents of Davies and the tactical acumen of Herdman, Canada is now among the elite nations in the region, and plays with a sense of fearlessness.
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Canada was rewarded for its bravery just before halftime when Davies delivered a defence-splitting pass into the penalty area for Jonathan Osorio to run onto and fire past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. “We wanted to open this game up tonight. I said that right at the beginning -- we had to be brave, we had to dare to lose (in order) to win. I thought it was courageous from the players tonight. It’s easy to come here and park the bus, but we want to show that we’re stepping forward, and we want to show there’s more to come, ” Herdman told reporters after the game. Mexico grew into the match during the second half, asking persistent questions of Canada through Chucky Lozano, whose probing runs and mastery on the dribble unbalanced the defence at times.
It was a bold tactical decision, especially after Mexico opened the scoring against the run of play in the 21st minute. But rather than abandoning the game plan, the Canadians doubled down, and continued to aggressively go at the Mexicans, forcing them onto the back foot and dominating them inside their half for long stretches.
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Gioacchini picked up a Qatari clearance attempt and fed Williamson, who returned the ball. Gioacchini passed to Zardes, and he scored with a right-footed shot from 7 yards, his 14th international goal and second of the tournament. The 20th-ranked U. matched its record with 13 consecutive home wins and advanced to Sunday night’s final in Las Vegas against defending champion Mexico, which beat Canada 2-1 at Houston.
Little League World Series: Canada vs. Mexico - 660 News Canada's Little Mountain Little Leaguers take on Mexico Monday. Canada's Benjamin Dartnel Catch live updates in Sports at :15 and