Teen star Davies, coach Zambrano usher in new start for Canada soccer

Substitute Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored in the 87th minute, only seconds after teammate Junior Hoilett missed a penalty shot, to lift Canada 2-1 over Curacao before a disappointing crowd announced at 6,026 at Saputo Stadium on Tuesday night.

Canada, ranked 109th in the world to Curacao’s 70th, also got a goal from defender Manjrekar James to give new coach Octavio Zambrano the win in his first game at the bench.

Rangelo Janga scored for Curacao.

The match saw 16-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Alphonso Davies make history as the youngest ever to play for Canada’s national team when he entered the match in the 54th minute, replacing Rakeem Edwards. Davies got his Canadian citizenship only last week.

Curacao looked to be the sharper team to start and got the first goal when Gevaro Neponucemo collected a loose ball to the left of the Canadian area and slipped a pass through three defenders to a waiting Janga, who slotted it home with his left foot in the 43rd minute.

Canada answered two minutes later as Will Johnson’s long free kick was mishandled by goalkeeper Eloy Room and fell to James in the penalty area for the equalizer.

SOC Curacao Canada 20170613

Octavio Zambrano gestures from the sideline Tuesday in his first game as head coach of Canada’s national men’s soccer team. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

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