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Jonathan David, Lucas Cavallini and Cyle Larin each scored twice Sunday, helping Canada open its CONCACAF Nations League qualifying campaign with a record 8-0 win over the outmatched U.S Virgin Islands.

It marked the Canadian men’s biggest win, surpassing a 7-0 victory in St. Lucia in October 2011. And it marks only the second time a Canadian men’s team has ever scored more than five goals.

“It was a resilient performance to go out and get the record eight goals, which was important for us,” said head coach John Herdman.

“We had a lot of chances and there were some quality goals through good build up. It was difficult for some players because they like to have room, but when you are playing in this heat and you have 10 players that are camped out within a 30-by-30 area, that’s not easy.”

As expected it was one-way traffic against a largely amateur U.S. Virgin Islands side ranked 199th in the world compared to No. 79 for Canada.

Jonathan Osorio and Junior Hoilett also scored for Canada, which led 5-0 at the half on a hot late afternoon at the IMG Academy. Teenager Alphonso Davies was more influential as the game wore on, setting up several goals, and was just wide with a shot of his own in stoppage time.

The 18-year-old David, an Ottawa native who plays for KAA Gent in Belgium, became the youngest Canadian to score on his senior debut.

The game marked Herdman’s first competitive match at the Canadian men’s helm. Herdman, who switched from the women’s to the men’s program in January, saw his team defeat New Zealand 1-0 in a March friendly in Spain.

“I am proud of the lads. You see Jonathan David in his debut, one of the youngest players for Canada, he stepped on the field and scored two goals,” Herdman said.

“Then you have Lucas Cavallini and Cyle Larin banging goals in — it just shows you what this team has now.”

The game was originally slated to be held in the U.S. Virgin Islands but was shifted to the IMG Academy due to lack of a suitable venue in the hurricane-hit string of Caribbean islands.

Glasgow Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield captained Canada. Herdman gave starts to the 17-year-old Davies, 18-year-old Liam Millar and David, and 20-year-old Derek Cornelius.

Osorio begins onslaught

Osorio opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a glancing header off a Millar cross and set the stage for the second goal two minutes after when, after deftly chesting the ball down, his shot hit the crossbar. Cavallini, a 24-year-old who plays in Mexico for Puebla FC, came flying into head the ball home.

David made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute, rapping in a low cross got a goal in his international debut. David increased the lead five minutes later beating Erik Mozzo after taking through ball from Hoilett.

The U.S. Virgin Islands appealed for a penalty in the 40th minute when James Mack went down but the referee waved play on.

Cavallini made it 5-0 just before halftime, pivoting from close-range to knock in a ball from Arfield after a delightful backheel.

Hoilett kept the scoreboard ticking in the 50th minute, triggering a Canadian break and then finishing it off by tapping in a David cross.

Larin, who replaced Cavallini at halftime, increased the lead to 7-0 in the 60th minute by knocking in a cross from Davies, who beat two defenders to get the ball in the box.

Davies played provider again in the 80th, floating a cross for an unmarked Larin to head in.

CBC.ca

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