Cyle Larin scored the winner in the seventh minute and Milan Borjan made three saves as Canada defeated the United States 2-0 in Hamilton, Ontario, on Sunday in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier matchup with first place at stake.
- ESPN+ viewers guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more
- Futbol Americas on ESPN+: MLS, Liga MX, USMNT, El Tri
- World Cup 2022 qualifying: How it works around the world
Canada (6-0-4, 22 points) moved four points ahead of the U.S. (5-2-3, 18 points) with four matches left. Mexico (5-2-2, 17 points) can overtake the Americans with a win later Sunday against visiting Costa Rica.
The top three teams in the region automatically qualify for the World Cup in Qatar that begins in November. Canada has not made an appearance since 1986.
The U.S. did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup and remains in a perilous spot with Panama four points back pending its home match vs. Jamaica on Sunday. The fourth-place finisher in CONCACAF advances to a playoff match against a team from the Oceania confederation to earn a World Cup spot.
Larin got the breakthrough goal, his fifth of the qualifying round, and Samuel Adekugbe scored in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time as the Americans were pressing for the equalizer.
Canada broke on top when a U.S. goal kick quickly turned into a counter with Larin and Jonathan David on a give-and-go with Larin putting a shot past goalkeeper Matt Turner.
Only a great save by Borjan in the 43rd minute prevented the U.S. from tying the score. The Americans had little buildup throughout the first half, but on a corner kick by Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie was at the goal box for a strong header. Borjan made a reflex save to push the ball away.
Turner kept it a one-goal game in the 70th minute with back-to-back saves on David and the rebound try by Larin.
In the 88th minute, American Paul Arriola sent a bicycle kick just wide.
Next for the Americans is Honduras in St. Paul, Minnesota, while Canada plays at El Salvador. Both matches are Wednesday.