HARRISON, New Jersey -- Youngster Alphonso Davies – just 16-years-old -- may have gotten the spotlight with a second-half brace in Canada’s 4-2 win over French Guiana to open the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but it was teammate Scott Arfield who really got the ball rolling.
Arfield, a relatively recent introduction to the Canadian program, delivered the ball that led to Dejan Jakovic’s 28th-minute goal to make it 1-0 and scored himself late in the first half.
“I did exactly what I wanted to do,” said the Burnley standout. “As a professional footballer, you look back at your standards and the 20 minutes we lost the two goals, we were guilty. Me and Sam (Piette) and Russ (Teibert), we were guilty of getting the game stretched and if we can get that transition, we’re certainly seeing the game out better.”
This is Arfield’s first Gold Cup after making his international debut last year. He helped Canada break a 596-minute scoreless streak in the competition and earn its first victory since one over Guadeloupe in 2011.
After going ahead 3-0, Les Rouges conceded twice to French Guiana, but Arfield is looking at the performance’s bigger picture.
“We showed a character to come back down there and see the game out and the lesson of coming back and getting the game over rather than losing the shape for 20 minutes is far more important for a young team,” the 28-year-old finished.
With a win in the bag, Canada will next meet Costa Rica – a 1-0 winner over Honduras -- in Houston on Tuesday.