Canada loses Dwayne De Rosario to knee injury

Canada's Dwayne De Rosario suffered ligament damage to his knee before the fifth minute of the...

Canada's Dwayne De Rosario suffered ligament damage to his knee before the fifth minute of the match against Panama on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

TORONTO - Canada's Dwayne De Rosario will miss a pair of decisive World Cup qualifiers next month after it was announced Thursday that the former MLS MVP suffered an MCL sprain during Tuesday's 2-0 qualifying loss to Panama.

The DC United attacker suffered ligament damage before the fifth minute in Panama City after entering a tackle with Panamanian captain Felipe Baloy. Canada's all-time leading goal scorer was replaced a few minutes later during a 15-minute blackout that halted the match.

“Dwayne is an inspirational player and has played a major role in the national team's qualification campaign,” Canadian head coach Stephen Hart said. “Injuries are an unfortunate part of football and, yes, he will be missed. Dwayne's misfortune will open the door for one of the more than capable players to step in and seize the moment.”

De Rosario's game-winning goal against Panama in Toronto last week sent Canada top of Group C before Tuesday's loss in Central America, which dropped Canada into a tie for second in its group alongside Honduras on seven points.

On nine points following Tuesday's win, Panama sits comfortably above Canada, Honduras and Cuba with two matches remaining in October.

The top two finishers in Canada's four-team group advance to CONCACAF's final round of qualifying to fight for four potential spots at the World Cup in 2014.

QUALIFICATION SCENARIOS

With Canada in search of its first berth into CONCACAF’s final round for the first time since 1998, although the Reds host Cuba on Oct. 12, all eyes will be on Panama City, where Honduras plays its Central American rivals in a match that will ultimately decide what result Canada will need four days later to advance in San Pedro Sula.

Assuming Canada secures at least a draw at BMO Field against the bottom-feeding Cubans, as long as Honduras drops all three points in Panama, a draw on the final Matchday in Honduras will send Canada through to CONCACAF’s final round.

Should both Canada and Honduras win their respective matches on Matchday 5, due to goal differential currently favouring the Hondurans, Canada would need to win in Honduras on Oct. 16 to advance.

Combined with a Honduran loss on Oct. 12, if Canada secures a three- or four-goal win over Cuba, it’s possible that a small-margin loss could see Canada advance on the final day.

A loss to Cuba on Matchday 5 and Canada will likely need to win in Honduras on Oct. 16 to have a chance of advancing.


Videos

Photos