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Canada’s Junior Hoilett Throws Ball Off Teammate’s Back En Route To Great Goal

Canada, winner of gold at the 1904 Summer Games, is back on track. With a 4-1 victory over French Guiana on Sunday, the Canucks secured qualification to this summer’s Gold Cup and a spot in League A at the inaugural 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League. Yes, Canada was expected to blast nations like the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dominica, but John Herdman’s side took care of business, and that’s not something Canada has done since the 2000 Gold Cup.

The nation’s quest for the 2018 World Cup ended before the Hexagonal stage in CONCACAF following a defeat to Honduras, but these are exciting times for les Rouges. The jury is still out on Herdman, the 43-year-old manager who was parachuted into the men’s role after leading the Canadian women to bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games, but he’s earning rave reviews from his players.

“It’s a complete change of identity, a complete change of culture with this team,” said Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert. “Since I’ve been involved with the team, this had been the most exciting time. We really have that feel that everyone in the locker room has that same feeling, same ambition, same purpose that we can really do something special here. The goal is to go pretty far in the Gold Cup and actually win it.”

On the pitch, there are exciting prospects like 18-year-old Bayern Munich sensation Alphonso Davies, 19-year-old Ballou Tabla (who’s on loan at Albacete from Barcelona) and 23-year-old Beşiktaş striker Cyle Larin. 

There's also veteran leadership provided by Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Milan Borjan, the immortal Atiba Hutchinson and Cardiff City winger Junior Hoilett.

As a regular starter on a Premier League side, CONCACAF Nations League qualifying was a particularly joyful experience for Hoilett, who scored in three of Canada’s four games.

On Sunday, he opened the scoring against French Guiana after throwing the ball off Mark-Anthony Kaye’s back, exchanging passes with Hutchinson and firing beyond the keeper.

That’s not very respectful. 

The stage is now set for the 2019 Gold Cup with all 16 competing nations decided.

Also, who remembers 2015 Gold Cup legend Duckens Nazon, the man who was banging in goals for Haiti? He did this against Cuba to help his side finish first in qualifying and clinch a spot at the Gold Cup and in League A. 

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