BMO field

Canada vs Belize | 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifying | Toronto Sports Photography

September 4, 2015 (TORONTO, ON) - Canada hosted Belize in the first of a home and away series in CONCACAF's third round of qualifiers for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

The match was preceded by a special award presentation to Dwayne De Rosario, Team Canada's all time highest goal scorer.

From the starting whistle, Canada dictated the play and Belize struggled to make cohesive passes. Although Canada dominated possession early in the match, there were very few attacking opportunities.

Canada's rhythm was briefly interrupted in the 14th minute when captain Julian De Guzman called for medical attention and was substituted out for Samuel Piette.

Canada continued where they left off until one of their collaborative efforts from the wing paid off in the 25th minute. Issey Nakajima-Farran made a backheel pass to Marcel De Jong who crossed the ball into the six yard box. Belize keeper Woodrow West made two close range saves until Tosaint Ricketts managed to kick in the loose ball near the goal line.

The second half saw Canada continue to dictate the game until another play from the wing earned a second goal. Nik Ledgerwood crossed the ball and although a diving Wil Johnson did not connect, Tosiant Ricketts expertly tapped in his second goal of the night.

As the game was winding down in extra time, another effort saw Canada add a third goal to the tally. Following a corner kick, Russel Teibert made an excellent pass that evaded two defenders and the goalkeeper for Atiba Hutchinson to find the back of the net.

Following the match, Benito Floro focused on the positives, pointing out that Belize had no shots on net and a respectable three goals were scored by his team.

Team Canada is feeling confident for the return leg in Belize on Tuesday, September 8 where Belize will need to win by at least four goals to advance.


2015 Pacific Nations Cup | Rugby Canada | Toronto Sports Photography

5/29/2015 (Toronto)

BMO field played host to 3 rugby matches as part of the 2015 Pacific Nations Cup involving Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Japan, USA and Canada.

The first match of the evening saw Tonga defeat USA 33-19.

The second match saw Fiji hold on to their first half lead to defeat Japan 27-22.

Canada faced Samoa in the final match of the evening. Canada had a dream start, earning a try in the 6th minute and ending the first half 13-3. The second half saw Samoa earn 13 consecutive points to bring the score 16-13 in Samoa's favour.

Canada looked to be the sure winner 4 minutes from time as they scored a try to the delight of the home crowd. Samoa persisted and with the benefit of two penalties, Samoa touched down in the final minute of play to win the game 21-20.

Canada, ranked 18th in the world has now lost all 5 meetings with Samoa, ranked 9th.

Burnaby, BC will play host to the final matches of the cup on Monday, August 3. Fiji will face Samoa for 1st place, Tonga will face Japan for 3rd place and Canada will face USA for 5th place.

Gold Cup 2015 | Canada vs Costa Rica | Toronto Sports Photography

07/14/2015 (Toronto)

Canada and Costa faced off in the final match of group C to determine who would advance to the knock out rounds. Costa Rica earned 2 points after 2 games to Canada's 1 point after 2 games.

Both teams were apprehensive in their attack throughout the match but Canada did match up well against the tournament favourites.

The stadium erupted when Marcus Haber seemingly scored in the 68th minute but was ruled off side.

Canada's best chance came in the 81st minute when a free kick was mishandled by goalkeeper Esteban but Andre Hainault was denied by a goal line clearance by Bryan Ruiz.

Canada is not only eliminated from the tournament but is scoreless in six consecutive Gold Cup games.

Costa Rican coach Paulo Wanchope did not appear concerned about the 8 game winless streak and is confident about his team in the knockout rounds.

Canadian head coach Benito Floro was adament that Canada is not just a defensive team while pointing out a 17-8 goals for and against record in the last 14 games.

2015 Gold Cup | El Salvador vs Jamaica | Toronto Soccer Photography

7/14/2015 (Toronto)

BMO Field hosted the first ever Gold Cup match on Canadian soil featuring El Salvador vs. Jamaica in group C action.

With 1 point after 2 games, El Salvador was seeking a victory to ensure qualification to the knockout rounds.

Jamaica was on top of the group with 4 points after 2 games and high in confidence after a commendable performance at the 2015 Copa America.

With the majority of the crowd in white and blue and two first half Jamaican substitutes, the momentum was building for El Salvador.

The first half ended 0-0 with both teams unable to breach their opponents.

The second half saw El Salvador increase their attack and Jamaica was constantly running back under pressure.

In the 72nd minute, a Jamaican counter attack saw Adrian Mappa's shot saved by Derby Carrillo, only to be deflected into Gareth McCleary's path for the tap in.

El Salvador had another opportunity to capitalize in the 80th minute as Jamaica's Darren Mattock's received a second yellow card and was ejected from the game.

Jamaica was able to withstand the pressure for the final 10 minutes to secure their first place finish in the group.

El Salvador still has a mathematical chance to advance to the knock out rounds and that rests on the results of the Cuba vs Guatemala match.

 

Canada MNT vs Dominica

 

Canada hosted Dominica in the second leg of the home-and-away series on June 16 at Toronto's BMO field. In their previous encounter on June 11 in Dominica, Canada took control of the series with a 2-0 victory.

Now back on home soil, it did not take Canada long to extend their advantage as the first goal from Tesho Akendele came in the 4th minute. Despite their quickness, Dominica had difficulty maintaining control of the ball against a better composed Canadian side. Cy...le Larin scored his 3rd goal in 3 consecutive games in the 41st minute to double Canada's lead.

The second half saw Canada continue to dominate the game and was rewarded with two more goals, both scored by Tosaint Ricketts to increase his international goal count to 10.

With the 4-0 victory and 6-0 aggregate score, Canada advances to the third round of the CONCACAF regional qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The third round, another home and away series will be played later this summer between August 31 and September 8. The official draw on July 25 will determine Canada's next opponent.

 

Originally published June 18, 2015