Another international break is in the books.
Ahead of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, four Boys in Gold were in camp with their respective national teams for a pair of matches in Concacaf 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. This window marked the halfway point of World Cup Qualifying with the seventh and eighth matches of the 14-match slate taking place.
Through eight matches, Alistair Johnston and Canada sit in first place in the “Octagonal” with 16 points, while Walker Zimmerman and the United States in second with 15 points, Aníbal Godoy’s Panama in fourth with 14 points, and Randall Leal’s Costa Rica in fifth with nine points. The top three teams in the standings will automatically qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the fourth-placed team will enter into an inter-confederation play-off for a chance to go to Qatar.
Take a look at how the Boys in Gold did on international duty:
United States 2, Mexico 0
Walker Zimmerman was a stalwart for the U.S. Men’s National Team on Friday night in a statement-making 2-0 win over Mexico. Starting at centerback alongside Atlanta United FC’s Miles Robinson, Zimmerman stood out for his stout defending against a formidable Mexico attack led by Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Raul Jimenez. ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman said Zimmerman had the “best game he’s ever had for the United States in the biggest game he’s ever played in.”
United States 1, Jamaica 1
Zimmerman and the USMNT played to a 1-1 draw against Jamaica on the road in Kingston on Tuesday afternoon. The Nashville defender stood out again in a 90-minute performance on the backline, winning seven of his 10 duels, including six of eight in the air. He made four clearances and only committed one foul throughout the match.
NEXT MATCH: at Jamaica, 11/16, 4:00 p.m. CT, Paramount Plus
Panama 3, Honduras 2
Aníbal Godoy did not play in Panama’s comeback 3-2 victory over Honduras due to yellow card accumulation. However, he was on the trip and celebrated the victory with his teammates in the locker room.
Panama 2, El Salvador 1
Godoy returned to the Panama side on Tuesday and captained them to a 2-1 comeback win over El Salvador to keep pace in the Octagonal. Godoy took three shots, including one on target, in the victory. He also boasted an 87% pass success rate and helped set up Panama’s go-ahead goal in the 52’ minute with a brilliant cross-field pass.
Costa Rica 0, Canada 1
Randall Leal made a second-half substitute appearance in a 1-0 loss to Alistair Johnston’s Canada on the road. Leal entered in the 65’ minute and took one shot as Costa Rica pushed to equalize late in the match.
Costa Rica 2, Honduras 1
Leal was left out of the matchday squad for Costa Rica’s 2-1 win over Honduras.
Canada 1, Costa Rica 0
Alistair Johnston made a second-half substitute appearance in Canada’s victory over Costa Rica. In his 18 minutes of action, Johnston made nine passes and won both of his duels as Canada finished off a big home victory.
Canada 2, Mexico 1
Johnston played an immense role in Canada’s milestone victory over Mexico in freezing, snowy conditions in Edmonton. Playing in short sleeves despite the frigid temperatures, Johnston made his impact right before halftime. His shot from long distance in first-half stoppage time led directly to Cyle Larin’s rebound goal to put Canada up 1-0. Johnston helped clamp down on defense and hold Canada’s victory even after Mexico pulled one goal back in the 90’ minute.