BRADENTON, Fla. – Toronto FC II’s Noble Okello scored a pair of first-half goals as the Canada U-20 National Team opened its Concacaf U-20 Championship campaign with a 4-0 victory against Dominica at a rain-soaked IMG Academy on Friday evening.
Seven members of Canada’s starting lineup had USL experience, with Okello’s TFC II teammate Julian Dunn handed the captain’s armband for the contest and both Ottawa Fury FC’s Adonijah Reid and Fresno FC’s Noah Verhoeven also getting the starting nod.
Kickoff was delayed due to lighting and heavy rain, but once the game got underway Canada quickly assumed control. The side’s pressure paid off in the 24th minute when Reid – who last month was selected to the USL’s 2018 20 Under 20 – laid off a pass for Okello to fire home from 20 yards into the left corner of the net to open the scoring.
Okello added his second goal of the game eight minutes later after a well-worked move down the left side opened up space for Ottawa Fury FC’s Daniel Kinumbe to drive a low cross through the top of the six-yard area where Okello was on hand to finish at the back post.
Canada added a pair of late goals to pad their lead as Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Theo Bair scored twice in three minutes inside the final 10 minutes. The result put Canada level with Panama, expected to be the side standing between Canada and a place in the second stage, on goal differential at the end of the first round of games.