Saturday, 19.10.2019

Canada stuns stagnant USA

CONCACAF’s inaugural Nations League group stage pitted neighbors USA and Canada against each other in competition for just the second time this decade, with Canada seizing the opportunity in Toronto as the United States failed to impose their style onto the match.

Cote d’Ivoire edge South Africa in scratchy opener

To kick off their 2019 AFCON campaign, South Africa took on traditional powerhouses Cote d’Ivoire in Cairo. Stuart Baxter’s charges lined up in a 4-4-2 shape with Percy Tau playing as a secondary striker/playmaker next to Racing Strasbourg’s Lebo Mothiba, who occupied a more traditional target striker role. 

Cote d’Ivoire on the other hand lined up relatively similarly in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia playing as a front-man with strong tendencies to drift to either wing, particularly in potential counterattacking moments. His movements would be balanced by Fulham FC’s Jean Michael Seri, whilst veteran Max Gardel and Nicolas Pepe provided the threat from out wide.

USA leave the Azteca with a draw

The US continued their unbeaten streak under manager Bruce Arena on Sunday, after starting the last phase of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with two losses which led to the sacking of Jurgen Klinsmann. Even though Mexico remained at the top of The Hex after this match, the American team left with their heads held higher as they depart having drawn Mexico at the Estadio Azteca for just the third time in World Cup Qualifying history, doing so with a framework that deviated from their usual system of play.