CONCACAF

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

Canada WNT vs England

The Canadian women's national team faced off against England in an exhibition match in front of 23,000 fans at Tim Horton's field in Hamilton, Ontario.   This marked Canada's last exhibition match before the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Canada kicks off on June 6.

England, ranked 6th in the world has topped Canada in their last 3 encounters, most notably in the 2015 Cyprus Cup final where England won by a 1-0 score line.  In addition to retribution, Canada was seeking to start their World Cup campaign on a high note.

Although Canada set the tone for a fast paced and aggressive game, England had the initial opportunities on goal but Canadian netminder Erin McLeod was quick to make the timely saves.  

Canada continued to battle for 50-50 balls to overwhelm and suffocate the English midfield.  The strategy worked as Sophie Schmidt's wonder strike off a quick pass from Josee Belanger surprised English keeper Karen Bardsley as the ball flew into the top corner in the 23rd minute. 

England attempted to even the score but Canada was too quick in their defense and counterattack, allowing only one opportunity in the 87th minute that rattled off the Canadian crossbar.

Canada next faces China in their first group game at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Canada on June 6 in Edmonton, Alberta.

The World Cup tournament is being hosted by Canada in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton between June 6 and July 5.  Tickets are still available for purchase.

 

Links:

Tickets FIFA Women's World Cup 2015: http://www.ticketmaster.ca/FIFA-Womens-World-Cup-Canada-2015-tickets/artist/875503

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015:  http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/index.html

Canada Soccer:  http://www.canadasoccer.com

 

Originally published on Hispanos en Canada.