HARRISON, NJ – Alphonso Davies, take a bow young man.
The 16-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps FC winger scored his first two goals for Canada, including the game-winner, in an entertaining 4-2 win over French Guiana on Friday night in the opening match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Davies scored his first goal in the 60th minute, megging the keeper after a blazing run that started at centre field, to put Canada up 3-0 at the time.
After French Guiana made things interesting with two quick goals, Davies then bagged his second of the night in the 85th minute. The youngster once again megged the keeper, this time finishing from the left side of the box after some fine work by Montreal’s Anthony Jackson-Hamel and fellow Whitecaps FC midfielder Russell Teibert, to seal the victory for Canada.
Davies and Whitecaps FC defender Marcel de Jong both started and played the full 90 minutes for Canada on the left side of Octavio Zambrano’s 4-3-3 formation, while Teibert replaced midfielder Patrice Bernier in the 66th minute – at which point de Jong assumed the role of captain.
With the goals, Davies becomes the youngest goalscorer in Canadian men's national team and Gold Cup history, as well as the first 2000-born player to score in any full national team tournament worldwide.
Also scoring their first goals for Canada on Friday were defender Dejan Jakovic, who opened the scoring in the 28th-minute after Scott Arfield’s free kick appeared to bounce in off his ribcage. And Arfield himself, who finished with his left foot from about 24 yards in first-half stoppage time.
This was Canada’s first Gold Cup victory since 2011.
They return to action on Tuesday vs. Costa Rica (4:30 p.m. PT on TSN) before concluding the group stage next Friday vs. Honduras (7 p.m. PT on TSN2). The top two teams from each group, as well as the two best third-placed teams, will advance to the quarterfinals