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Canadians in action: Davies, Bayern win as rumours swirl

Alphonso Davies Bayern Munich Alphonso Davies - Getty Images

With rumours swirling about his future, Alphonso Davies and Bayern picked up three points. Plus, Alistair Johnston and Celtic continued to roll and Christine Sinclair, the greatest Canadian footballer of all-time announced her retirement plans. Here's a look at Canadians in action over the weekend.

Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich - Bayern Munich kept pace with Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen with a 3-1 victory at Mainz with Alphonso Davies playing the full 90 minutes. But the more interesting Davies-related news this week came off the pitch — more on that in a minute. Thomas Tuchel's side's quick start had the match wrapped up by the 16th minute. In the 11th, Leroy Sané rushed forward and found Kingsley Coman to his right on the edge of the area. Putting some power behind his shot, the France winger ripped home past Robin Zentner to make it 1-0. Only five minutes later, it was 2-0 thanks to — who else? — Harry Kane. From a free kick, Jamal Musaila sent a ball into the area that found Konrad Laimer. His header was off target and appeared to be heading out, but Leon Goretzka not only salvaged the play, he also set up Kane to head home. It was Kane's ninth Bundesliga goal in eight appearances. The hosts would get one back just before the break. Coman gave the ball away just inside the Bayern half to Brajan Gruda, who found Anthony Caci to his left. Entering the area, Caci switched to his left foot before unleashing a powerful shot into the top of the Bayern net in the 43rd to make it 2-1. It would be as close as Mainz would come. Just before the hour-mark, Bayern put the match to bed through Goretzka. After Musaila was dispossessed near the Mainz touchline, the ball was won back just inside the area by Laimer, who fed back to Musaila. Musaila spotted Goretzka just outside the area and squared for his Germany teammate to strike home to make it 3-1 in the 59th. Davies finished his evening completing 74 of 89 pass attempts (.831), making a pair of tackles and 95 touches. But back to that other Davies news - according to multiple reports last week, Real Madrid plans to bid for the 22-year-old left-back as he is set to enter the final season of his current deal in the summer. Los Blancos believe that his contractual status could lead to a lower transfer fee. SportBild reported on Sunday that Real's chief scout, Juni Calafat, see Davies as a priority signing and has started laying the groundwork for a deal that the team believes could be reached for as little as £35 million. It is unlikely that Bayern would be open to such a low valuation and will do what they can to extend the Edmonton product's deal as it enters its final 18 months.


Alistair Johnston, Celtic - Ahead of what is most likely a do-or-die encounter with Atletico in the Champions League on Wednesday, Alistair Johnston and Celtic took care of business domestically to restore a seven-point lead atop the Scottish Premiership table with a 4-1 win over Hearts. The Bhoys got started quickly with a fine piece of work from Matt O'Riley, who is, perhaps, the in-form player in Scotland right now. Letting a ball over the top from Luis Palma drop, the England-born Denmark under-21 struck a volley with his left foot to open the scoring in the fourth. Midway through the half, the Hoops would go up 2-0 with the completion of a complete team move. Reo Hatate's ball across the face of goal might have been a shot gone awry, but Daizen Maeda was there to bundle over the line in the 23rd. Hearts lobbied for offside, but the goal was confirmed as good through VAR. Just after the restart, the visitors were awarded a penalty when Alex Cochrane was adjudged to have taken Kyogo Furuhashi down in the area. Hatate stepped up to take, but he rang his effort off the post. Celtic would get a third only minutes later, though. Hatate's fine ball for Palma set the Bhoys in motion with the ball falling to an unmarked Kyogo near the penalty spot to strike home in the 51st to make it 3-0. The hosts would pull one back in the 64th through Lawrence Shankman, but Celtic would restore their three-goal advantage thanks to Tomoki Iwata — a third straight goal by a Japan international — in the 81st. The win kept Celtic comfortably ahead of Rangers, who were 4-0 winners over Hibernian on Saturday. Johnston played the full 90 minutes, committing three fouls and winning two challenges. Having lost their first two matches to Feyenoord and Lazio, Celtic will almost certainly crash out of the Champions League without a result against Diego Simeone's side on Wednesday.


Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns - The Portland Thorns don't host NJ-NY Gotham in the NWSL semis until Nov. 5, but one of its longest tenured players made a significant announcement this past week: Christine Sinclair, the greatest footballer Canada has ever produced, would be calling time on her storied career. The 40-year-old Burnaby, BC native is world football's all-time international goals leader with 190. Capped 327 times by Canada, an all-time record, Sinclair has appeared at six World Cups, won two Olympics bronze medals and claimed gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Sinclair wrote a letter to her 16-year-old self in The Globe and Mail as part of her retirement announcement. "Your work ethic, your desire to be better and your mentality of never being satisfied are what sets you apart," she wrote. :Here I am preparing to tie the bow on an unbelievable international career shared with so many incredible teammates, coaches, support staff, fans and of course family. We are not here without them. Here I am in the 90th minute of our journey." Sinclair intends to play in two friendlies in the Vancouver area before hanging up her cleats, but will not suit up in the Paris Olympics.  "After Tokyo, I knew I didn't want to play in Paris," Sinclair told Reuters. "And then I wanted to give the [2023] World Cup another shot just with our team's lack of success in World Cups in general. So, I knew it was coming to an end just based on what I wanted to do in terms of a timeline." While her international career might end before the Olympics, Sinclair's club career will carry on. Sinclair confirmed that she intends to play in 2024 for the Thorns in what would be her 12th season with the team. With the Thorns, Sinclair has won three NWSL Championships, including last season's. Her 60 league goals are second-most all-time behind Sam Kerr's 77.