MEXICO CITY (AP) — Andres Guardado and Jesus Corona scored first-half goals and Mexico beat Canada 2-0 Tuesday night in a World Cup qualifier to become the first nation to clinch a berth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
Guardado scored on a penalty kick in the 17th and Corona in the 45th.
Seeking its seventh straight World Cup berth, Mexico (4-0) leads Group A with 12 points, followed by Canada and Honduras (both 1-2-1) and El Salvador (0-2-2).
“We’re very happy we are having a healthy qualifying round so far,” said Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who made five changes to his starting lineup. “Today it was a chance to see some of the younger players. We are trying to improve our chances to achieve major goals.”
Mexico plays at El Salvador on Sept. 2, when Honduras hosts Canada. The round ends four days later, when Canada is home against El Salvador and Mexico hosts Honduras.
Canada last played in the World Cup in 1986.
“I’ve said it before, that a win is not necessarily a victory in a match but to have the intention to do it. From the first second in Vancouver until the last one in Mexico City we did it,” Canadian coach Benito Floro said. “Unfortunately we are playing in a group with a rival that it*s above all. Now there will be a fight between three for one spot”.