WATCH: Canadian men's soccer team benefits from bizarre own-goal in game against Haiti
Canada's Jonathan David (20) tries to score against Haiti's Josue Duverger (12) and Bryan Alceus (21) during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Bridgeview, Ill. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
TORONTO -- Canada’s men’s soccer team was the beneficiary of one of the strangest goals in the game -- and it helped the team advance to the final stage of World Cup qualifying.
On Tuesday night, Canada was in a scoreless tie with Haiti early in the second half when Haitian goalie Josue Duverger -- who was actually born in Montreal -- misplayed a routine back pass and then missed it a second time before it found the net.
Canada ended up winning the game 3-0 to advance to the final stage of World Cup qualifying for the first time since the lead-up to the 1998 World Cup.
“We got a break there,” Canadian head coach John Herdman told TSN after the game. “It was a tight game, we knew it was going to be an intense, intense affair, but we also knew that we could make it 3-0 score line and that was the prediction and the target.”
Herdman also told The Canadian Press that he had his players practise penalty shots the night before the game and made each player score three times before they could leave. All those added shots partially damaged the grass around the net where Duverger ended up misplaying the ball the next day.
"The goalkeeper coach came up and said, 'Look, you're wrecking my six-yard box,'’ Herdman said. “We were, to be fair.”
With the win, Canada advances to the final stage of World Cup qualifying with seven other teams – Mexico, the United States, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and El Salvador -- vying for three automatic spots in the 2022 World Cup.
Canada’s first game in the next stage is scheduled for Sept. 2 against Honduras.
With files from The Canadian Press