The 25-year-old made his first senior international appearance in Tuesday night's 1-1 friendly draw with Ghana.
Junior Hoilett finally earned his highly-anticipated Canada debut in Tuesday night’s 1-1 friendly draw with Ghana at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and the Queens Park Rangers winger made quite an impression with fans.
The 25-year-old Toronto-native has been pursued by the Canadian Soccer Association for years but, having also been eligible for Jamaica and pursued a potential England career in the past, it was not until last month that he made a decision on his international future.
Having previously turned down several call-ups, some Canucks fans have been highly critical of the former Blackburn Rovers man for his lack of commitment amid the team’s struggles to assert itself in CONCACAF, but his debut performance seemed to win a fair number of them over.
Playing 87 minutes on the left wing, the QPR midfielder was arguably the man of the match thanks to his pace and direct running, as Marcel de Jong opened the scoring for Benito Floro’s men in the 29th-minute with a wonder strike before Albert Adomah equalised just before the break.
It was a respectable result for Les Rouges ahead of next month’s first two World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and El Salvador and, while Hoilett has seen just 86 minutes of first-team action for QPR so far this season, he figures to be crucial to his national team’s efforts to make Russia 2018.
Here is a sampling of how Canada fans reacted on Twitter to his first senior appearance…
Hoilett is class I'm not used to seeing. Adds a new dimension to Canada's defensive approach, causing problems all half #canMNT— Ryan Brandt (@Ryan_Brandt) October 14, 2015
Junior Hoilett has spurned a few good looks at goal thus far, but he's been active and dangerous. A very useful piece for #CanMNT.— Charles Boehm (@cboehm) October 14, 2015
If Hoilett played like this for QPR, We probably wouldn't have bought Chery...— QPR Ash (@TransferSpoiler) October 14, 2015
Hoilett is causing a lot of problems for the Ghanaians. #CanMNT— Vince Alvarado (@VinceByDemand) October 14, 2015
So guys. Hoilett on the left wing is a game changer. But I guess we've known that, which is why emotions were running high. #canMNT— Théo Gauthier (@Mimglow) October 14, 2015
Love Junior Hoilett so much. Always said good things about him.— Jake. (@YedIin) October 14, 2015
Hoilett has worked his butt off.— Vince Alvarado (@VinceByDemand) October 14, 2015
Say what you will about Hoilett not showing until now but don't question the effort he's putting in out there right now. #canMNT— Jesse Vansickle (@smartlikefox81) October 14, 2015
Hoilett looked like a man who WANTED to play for Canada.— Chris (@salishsea86) October 14, 2015