Jonathan David opened the scoring for Canada in their 2-0 win over Panama in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals at Allegiant Stadium. (Candice Ward)
Canada booked their place in the CONCACAF Nations League final with Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies on target in a confident 2-0 win over Panama on Thursday.
John Herdman’s team will now face the winners of Thursday’s other semi-final, between Mexico and the United States, in Sunday’s final also at Allegiant Stadium.
Canada, looking to progress after their first World Cup finals appearance since 1986, were on the front foot from the outset, finding space frequently behind the Panama full-backs.
David, who plays in France’s Ligue 1 for Lille, opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a cool, first-time finish past the advancing Orlando Mosquera after being slipped in by Kamal Miller.
Panama responded with a fierce drive from Ismael Diaz and then a Fidel Escobar free-kick both of which tested Canada keeper Milan Borjan.
Diaz brought out another good save from Borjan with a snap-shot in the 57th minute but Canada continued to be the more dangerous with diagonal balls to their wide players constantly exposing Panama.
Mosquera pulled off a wonderful one-handed save to somehow keep out a powerful Cyle Larin header from close-range after a superb cross from Tajon Buchanan.
Herdman brought on Bayern Munich winger Davies in the 62nd minute and it took just seven minutes for the winger to make his mark.
David found him in the inside left channel and Davies burst into the box before blasting an unstoppable drive high into the roof of the net.
Panama’s woes were added to in the final minutes when Eric Davis sent off for violent conduct after a VAR review showed he had struck Richie Laryea in the back of the head.