BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Nicolas de la Cruz and Darwin Nunez set the tone with a goal apiece in the first half as 13th-ranked Uruguay beat Canada 2-0 in a men’s soccer friendly on Tuesday.
De la Cruz scored on a free kick from the left outside the box in the 6th minute and was beaten by the near post as goalkeeper Milan Borjan could not do enough to stop him.
After narrowly missing a volley shot from Luis Suarez’s cross five minutes earlier, Nunez made it 2-0 with a header from Suarez’s cross in the 33rd minute.
This is the final World Cup setup game for the 43rd-ranked Canadians before they take the field in Qatar in November. The national team faces No. 24 Japan on November 17 before taking on Belgium in the World Cup on November 23.
Canada beat Qatar 2-0 last week.
Despite conceding two goals, Canada dominated the first half (59% to 41 for Uruguay) and was not lacking in scoring opportunities.
Alastair Johnston headed in the 12th minute from a cross sent in by Alphonso Davies. A dozen minutes later, Ciel Laurens found an opening, took a pass from Davies, but his left-footed shot was saved.
In the 39th minute, Davies drew the attention of several defenders outside the box before sliding a pass to an open Lauren inside the box. Hitting the ball against the Brampton, Ont., native, he blocked his shot after trying to set it up.
Lorraine then headed in a minute later from Samuel Adkogbe’s cross. In the 41st minute, Davies once again caught the eyes of many Uruguayan defenders and scored a goal that was sent to the box after hitting Jonathan David, but the shot was blocked.
After a quiet start to the second half for both sides, Canada pressed again with an eye to close the gap.
In the 63rd minute, Davies headed the ball towards the box after a Canadian cross. David turned back and shot from just inside the box but Sergio Rochette deflected it for a corner.
After Davis’ corner was cleared, Uruguay awarded the Canadians a free kick with a foul in the 64th. Stefan Eustaquio sent a beautiful cross into the box, but Kamal Miller just hit the top of the net.
Despite constantly being on Uruguay’s end late in the second half, Canada was no closer to putting a goal in the back of the net.
Canada finished the game outscoring Uruguay 11-6 (3-2 on goal), controlling 56 percent of the game and taking seven corner kicks.