Canada are one small step closer to reaching only their second FIFA World Cup finals, thanks to one giant leap from Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies.
Davies, 20, scored four goals and registered five assists across four CONCACAF first-round qualifying matches as Canada advanced to the next stage as Group B winners. They will face Haiti to determine who will join the likes of the Gio Reyna's USA and Leon Bailey's Jamaica in the eight-nation third round.
"We're excited for the game," said Davies ahead of the away leg of the tie, scheduled for 12 June. "We know that we lost to Haiti in the Gold Cup, it was a tough defeat, but we're ready and we're excited for these two legs coming up."
Davies's upward trajectory alone will give Canada reason to believe they can avenge their 3-2 loss to Haiti in the Gold Cup quarter-finals two years ago.
The Canadian has since made 81 competitive appearances for Bayern, winning a 2020 sextuple of Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, DFB Cup, UEFA Super Cup, DFL Supercup and FIFA Club World Cup.
The Ghana-born left-sider got his hands on the Bundesliga title for the third time in as many years at the end of 2020/21 and, as well as clocking the fastest speed in Bundesliga history, has collected accolades including the 2019/20 Bundesliga Rookie of the Season and a second career Canadian Men's Player of the Year.
Watch: Alphonso Davies - a landmark season
Suffice to say Davies lived up to the billing with his goal and two assists in World Cup 2026 co-hosts Canada's 4-0 win over Suriname. He'd already set up three against Bermuda and was on target in victories over the Cayman Islands and Aruba, making him the first Canadian player since 1996 to score in three consecutive World Cup qualifying matches in the same calendar year.
His overall record for the national team since becoming his country's youngest debutant and greenest goalscorer, aged 16, is nine goals and 13 assists in 21 appearances.
"What's great about Alphonso is that he creates the dread in an opponent, whether you play him higher or lower," said Canada coach John Herdmann, who was the first to experiment with Davies - an attacking wide player when he officially joined Bayern from Vancouver Whitecaps in January 2019 - at left-back.
"It's a gift that you have someone of his ability because of how his career has progressed. He's built that sort of trajectory from being a carefree winger at the Vancouver Whitecaps to a very disciplined left-back at one of the best clubs in the world. It's great to see him delivering on his potential."