Canada took the lead over Japan with a stoppage-time goal in the final tune-up before the World Cup

Canada took the lead over Japan with a stoppage-time goal in the final tune-up before the World Cup

Lucas Cavalli’s extra-time penalty kick that barely crossed the line gave Canada a 2-1 win over Japan at the FIFA World Cup on Thursday.

Richie Leiria was brought down in the box by Miki Yaman in the 94th minute, setting up Cavalli for his penalty kick.

Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda got his right hand in on Cavolini’s floater, but the ball had just enough steam to bounce over the goal line.

The win in Dubai moved Canada’s record to 3-2-3 since CONCACAF World Cup qualifying concluded last March.

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Japan almost took the lead in the 89th minute when Yaman got to the Canadian back line and fired a shot past the near right post.

Japan caught head coach John Herdman off guard with the first goal. Yuki Soma positioned himself around Canadian defender Kamal Miller to deflect Gaku Shibabaski’s pin point into the box.

In the 9th minute, Soma hit the ball to the right leg against Canadian keeper Milan Borgan.

Canada tied the game in the 21st minute with a corner kick. Junior Hallett found Atiba Hutchinson, whose touch Steven Vittoria, 35, found near the far post.

Hallett was busy with six corner kicks in the first half.

Canada had 55 percent of the game.

Canada kicks off the World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday against a strong Belgium team and will finish the group stage with Croatia on November 27 and Morocco on December 1.

Canada was without Alphonso Davies, who missed Bayern Munich’s last two games before the World Cup break with a hamstring strain. He remains in Munich for treatment but hopes to join Canada in time for next week’s opener.

Herdman also left out Stefan Eustace against Japan. He suffered a minor concussion during training on Wednesday.

Canada showed more pressure in the first half with a 4-4-2 formation. However, the final 45 minutes were sloppy from both sides.

Jonathan David had the best chance of the second half for Canada in the 74th minute before scoring the decisive goal, but his shot from outside the box missed six feet to the left.

Japan entered the World Cup in 24th place, 41st behind Canada. Canada was ranked 78th at the time of the 2018 World Cup.

Canadian defender Alastair Johnston played a national team record 28 consecutive games to surpass Bruce Wilson’s old mark. Wilson, a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, captained Canada at the last World Cup in 1986.

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