Maybe there was a time in his childhood that Josue Duverger, who was born and raised in Canada, dreamed of scoring a vital World Cup goal for his homeland. But probably not the way he did yesterday.
The 21-year-old Duverger, who has represented the land of his ancestors, Haiti, for the past five years, became an unfortunate internet sensation last night with a bizarre own goal against Canada, which paved the way for an eventual 3-0 win for the North American team.
Cyle Larin was on the scoresheet again, with his seventh goal of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, as Canada ended with a 4-0 aggregate triumph over both legs. It is the first time that ‘The Canucks’, who played all six qualifiers away from home due to their Covid-19 restrictions, have made it to the final round of a Concacaf World Cup qualifying series in 24 years.
But it was a tale of woe for the Caribbean, as all 23 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) nations involved in the preliminary qualifying round were eliminated—with only Jamaica, an automatic qualifier based on ranking, left with a shot of getting to Qatar.
St Kitts and Nevis’ own chances ended within the first half-hour of their two-legged contest with El Salvador, when they conceded three times. And the Central American team finished the job yesterday with a 2-0 triumph at home, which concluded their straightforward 6-0 aggregate win.
Curaçao, a team stuffed with players and coaches from the Netherlands, arguably represented the best chance of a Caribbean breakthrough. However, after scoring 14 times in their first three qualifiers, the Curaçaoans managed just one item over the last 270 minutes.
Yesterday, a one-goal win would have sufficed for Curaçao against Panama, coached by former Netherlands and Ajax star forward Patrick Kluivert. Instead, they played to a goalless draw at the Ergilio Hato Stadium, Willemstad and were eliminated 2-1 on goal aggregate.
The third and final round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying starts on 2 September with eight teams: Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Honduras, Panama, Canada, and El Salvador.
The top three teams will advance to the 2022 World Cup while the fourth-placed team will enter a two-legged intercontinental playoff.
Concacaf World Cup qualifying second round
(12 June 2021)
St Kitts and Nevis 0, El Salvador 4 (David Rugamas 3, 27, Joshua Pérez 20, Darwin Cerén 64 pen) at Warner Park, Basseterre;
Haiti 0, Canada 1 (Cyle Larin 14) at Stade Sylvio Cator, Port-au-Prince;
Panama 2 (Alberto Quintero 55, Cecilio Waterman 77), Curaçao 1 (Rangelo Janga 87) at Estadio Nacional Rod Carew, Panama City.
(15 June 2021)
El Salvador 2 (Joshua Pérez 24, Gerson Mayen 87), St Kitts and Nevis 0 at Estadio Cuscatlán, San Salvador;
*—El Salvador advance 6-0 on goal aggregate;
Canada 3 (Josue Duverger 46 OG, Cyle Larin 74, Junior Hoilett 89), Haiti 0 at SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, USA;
*—Canada advance 4-0 on goal aggregate;
Curaçao 0, Panama 0 at Ergilio Hato Stadium, Willemstad;
*—Panama advance 2-1 on goal aggregate.