Who knew that an exorcism could be achieved with such an ugly goal? Such a beautiful, wonderful, ugly goal, that is.
In the 38th minute of Friday’s CONCACAF Group A World Cup qualifier against Honduras, Junior Hoilett, making his “A” debut for Canada, scooted down the left wing and delivered a great cross to the back post. Will Johnson headed it towards the centre of goal. But, striker Cyle Larin had already fallen down; no matter, the ball bounced off Larin’s midsection and crawled across the goal line.
It was a goal that won’t be remembered for its quality; but for its impact.
That, ahem, “strike” did more than propel Canada to a vital 1-0 win in front of 20,108 — which, based on volume, often felt twice that size — at BC Place. It helped bury the skeletons of 2012. The 8-1 loss to the Hondurans that knocked Canada out of qualifying for 2014 World Cup would not be avenged by an audacious strike, but by a ricochet and a ball limping over the line.
Excuse us while we snicker. For just a little bit.
“When I got up, I didn’t even know that I hit it,” said Larin. “Then when I saw it on the screen and I saw it hit off my back, I knew it was my goal.”
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