Tag Archives: qualifier

Canadian teenager Corbeanu impressing early in World Cup soccer qualifier

After missing out on Canada’s January camp, teenage winger Theo Corbeanu wasted little time showing what he can do in World Cup soccer qualifying.

The 18-year-old from Hamilton scored off the bench in his debut in Canada’s 5-1 win over Bermuda last Thursday, prompting his phone to light up like a Christmas tree.

“It was crazy. I’ve never got that many messages before. It was amazing.” he said.

Coach John Herdman then gave Corbeanu the start in Monday’s record 11-0 romp over the Cayman Islands in Bradenton, Fla.

WATCH | Canadian men’s team breaks national record in 11-0 victory over Cayman Islands:

Substitute Lucas Cavallini scored a second-half hat trick and Canada set a new national men’s record with an 11-0 win over the Cayman Islands in their World Cup qualifying match. 0:55

Corbeanu plays for the Wolves under-23 side in England. While manager Nuno Espirito Santo has had him dress eight or nine times for the Premier League squad’s first team in both league and cup action, he has yet to be called on. But it seems only a matter of time.

Where it all started

He is no stranger to turning heads — or making the most of debuts.

In December, the Birmingham Mail marked his inclusion in Wolves’ matchday squad for the first time with an article under the headline “Who is Theo Corbeanu? The ‘outstanding’ wonderkid in the Wolves squad for Burnley.”

Both his parents were born in Romania, coming to Canada in 1999 with his older brother who was seven at the time. Theo, who came on the scene three years later, says all his relatives are in Romania.

“I’m really the only one in the family tree who’s fully Canadian,” said Corbeanu, who speaks fluent Romanian.

Corbeanu has represented Romania at the youth level, scoring in his debut for its under-16 side against Ireland.

“It was a great experience but at the end of the day I’m Canadian. I’ve always wanted to play for Canada,” he said.

“I have both [nationalities] in me but I’m very proud to wear the Canadian shirt,” added Corbeanu, who has since switched his international allegiance to Canada.

‘More excited about the future’

He’s loving every minute of it.

“I’m excited right now and I’m even more excited about the future,” he said.

Herdman called him into his January camp in Florida but Corbeanu didn’t travel because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. He made it for the World Cup qualifiers, stopping first in Mexico for a few days training with the Canadian Olympic squad.

After replacing Junior Hoilett in the 77th minute with Canada leading Bermuda 4-1 in Orlando, Corbeanu stationed himself on the right flank and prepared to do some damage.

That took just four minutes with the debutant finishing off a six-pass move that started with goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Captain Atiba Hutchinson picked out Liam Millar on the left flank and the 21-year-old forward, on loan to Charlton Athletic from Liverpool, cut the ball back for Corbeanu, making a diagonal run between defenders off his wing, to square into the goal from the edge of the six-yard box.

After the game, Herdman shared what he told Corbeanu before sending him on.

“‘Just as he was taking the field, I said to him ‘Son, you’ve got 15 minutes. Sometimes these moments don’t come back. Go make an impact. Goal and an assist,”‘ said Herdman.

“And his bloody first touch was a goal,” the coach added. “Sometimes you say that stuff as a coach and think it’s going in one ear and out the other. I’m proud of him.”

Corbeanu, an imposing figure at six foot two, says football firsts like his Canadian debut don’t faze him.

“I’d say I’m very composed when it comes to stuff like this. For me, this is just another game. I just took it as another game, as if I was playing on the street with my friends. So no nerves.”

Canadian midfielder Samuel Piette was impressed by what he saw from the teen in training.

“First time I saw him on the pitch, I couldn’t tell you if he was left-footed or right-footed, which is an amazing skill. I’m not even sure he knows as well, to be fair,” said the CF Montreal veteran.

“He’s really mature for his age, outside the pitch but on the pitch as well,” he added.

Growing up, Corbeanu was a goalkeeper until he was seven or eight, switching to striker when his team was down a few bodies. A fan of players like Robinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, he enjoys taking players on.

“That’s my game. I’m a one-v-one player. I like to be brave on the ball and I really like to enjoy myself in games. Play free.”

That includes looking to befuddle defenders with stepovers.

Playing career

Growing up, Corbeanu played for the Mount Hamilton Youth Soccer Club, Hamilton Sparta and Saltfleet Soccer Club. He often followed coach Ron Davidson, whom he says played a “vital role” in his development.

Corbeanu spent two years with the Toronto FC academy, joining in late 2016 when he was 14 after spending time earlier on in its pre-academy camps.

“I was very used to the drive to that training centre from Hamilton, I absolutely loved TFC,” said Corbeanu, who still has close friends from his Toronto academy days.

But he always wanted to test himself in England. And in the summer of 2018, his agent set up a trial at Leicester City, which went well and drew the attention of Wolves.

He visited the club and liked what he saw.

“No disrespect to Leicester. That was a brilliant club as well. But I just felt like Wolves was a better fit for me.”

In 2019, he toured China on a pre-season tour with Wolves.

Formed as St. Luke’s FC in 1877, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC has spent 66 seasons at England’s highest level.

The storied club has been home to the likes of Billy Wright, Derek Dougan, Bert Williams, Phil Parkes, Paul Ince, Robbie Keane, Denis Irwin, Steve Bull and former Whitecaps manager Carl Robinson.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Canadian men set scoring record, crushing Cayman Islands 11-0 in World Cup qualifier

Substitute Lucas Cavallini scored a second-half hat trick as a young Canada side ran up a record goal total Monday, crushing the Cayman Islands 11-0 in World Cup qualifying play.

The Canadian men’s previous scoring record was 8-0 over the U.S. Virgin Islands in September 2018 in CONCACAF Nations League qualifying play. The previous high in World Cup qualifying was a 7-0 victory in St. Lucia in October 2011.

Alphonso Davies and Mark-Anthony Kaye each scored twice while Frank Sturing, Cyle Larin, David Wotherspoon and Alistair Johnston added singles for Canada, which led 4-0 after 27 minutes and 6-0 at the half.

Sturing’s goal came five minutes into his Canadian debut. Wotherspoon, Kaye and Johnston also opened their Canadian scoring accounts.

Cavallini, who could have had a hat trick last time out against Bermuda but had no luck in front of goal, upped his Canadian total to 14 with goals in the 68th, 74th and 76th minutes.

Canada is ranked 73rd in the world, 120 places above the Caymans part-timers. And the first-ever meeting between the two at the senior level quickly turned into a rout. For long stretches, it looked like a training game contested in the Caymans’ end.

The Canadians showed no mercy at the IMG Academy, knowing that No. 141 Suriname had won its two first qualifying games with a plus-nine goal differential in CONCACAF’s Group B.

Canada (2-0-0) upped its goal difference to plus-15.

Canada opened its qualifying campaign with a 5-1 win over No. 169 Bermuda in Orlando last Thursday. The Caymans lost 3-0 Wednesday at Suriname, which improved to 2-0-0 with a 6-0 thumping of No. 200 Aruba on Saturday in Bradenton.

Next up for Canada is a June 5 match at Aruba and a June 8 home game against Suriname. Whether the team can play at home in June depends on whether the pandemic-related border restrictions are eased.

Thirty CONCACAF countries have been split into six groups in the first round of qualifying in the region that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Only the six groups winners will advance.

WATCH | Larin hat trick leads Canada past Bermuda:

Canada dominates Bermuda 5-1 as they start World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region. 3:19

It was 27 degrees Celsius at kickoff Monday, feeling like 29 C.

The game was slated to be played Sunday but was pushed back a day so the Caymans delegation could undergo the PCR tests required by FIFA rather than rapid antigen tests originally taken.

Alfredo Whittaker, president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, said the testing problem occurred because of travel delays that disrupted the necessary COVID-19 protocols.

Canada coach John Herdman, rotating his squad against the CONCACAF minnow, made nine changes to the starting lineup that dispatched Bermuda.

Only Larin and Davies retained their starting spots. Midfielder Samuel Piette wore the captain’s armband for the first time, taking over for Atiba Hutchinson, who has returned to Turkey to rejoin club team Besiktas.

Maxime Crepeau started in goal, with Milan Borjan returning to Red Star Belgrade. He could have taken a cup of coffee and newspaper out on the field because he had nothing to do.

Canada’s starting 11 had a combined cap count of just 144, with 118 of those coming from Piette (51) Larin (33), Davies (19) and Kaye (15). Six of the seven other starters have single-digit caps.

Ferreira, Sturing earn first caps

Ricardo Ferreira and Sturing started at centre back, earning their first Canadian caps in the process. Winger Theo Corbeanu and Johnston made their first starts — and second appearances — for Canada.

Davies, who had started further up front against Bermuda, returned to the fullback role he fills at Bayern Munich.

Herdman said prior to the game that he expected the Caymans to park the bus, “maybe a couple of buses,” meaning it would stack its defence. But the defensive block was breached quickly with 21-year-old Caymans goaltender Albertini Holness finishing himself in a shooting gallery.

WATCH | Canada looks to keep World Cup 2022 hopes alive:

Canada’s men’s national team squad, filled with as much raw talent as there is experience, has to win the group stage in the First Round of qualification to keep their hopes of participating in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 alive. 10:08

Sturing opened the scoring, knocking in a rebound through traffic in a goalmouth scramble after Larin’s shot bounced of the crossbar following a corner. Wotherspoon unselfishly set up Larin for a tap-in in the 13th minute to make it 2-0 with his 12th for Canada.

Kaye played provider for Wotherspoon in the 25th with the St. Johnstone midfielder beating a defender and then Holness. Taken down in the box, Davies converted from the penalty spot in the 27th minute.

Kaye made it 5-0 in the 32nd minute, tapping in a Wotherspoon feed from the byline as the Canadian attackers cut through the Caymans defence like a hot knife through butter. Johnston hammered a shot home in the 42nd to pad the lead to 6-0 after Corbeanu and Wotherspoon ripped open the Caymans backline.

Cameron Gray gave the Caymans something to celebrate when he nutmegged Davies early in the second half.

Canada showed its depth, bringing on Cavallini, Junior Hoilett and Sam Adekugbe on the hour-mark, with Davies pushing forward.

Still the Caymans managed to slow the Canadian attack to open the second half, holding them off the scoreboard for the first 18 minutes. Kaye made it 7-0, beating Holness after Wotherspoon hit the goalpost.

Cavallini made it 8-0 in the 63rd minute, heading home a perfect cross from Johnston.

After taking down Hoilett, Holness denied Kaye his hat trick, stopping both the LAFC midfielder’s spot kick and followup shot before Davis knocked in the rebound in the 73rd for his seventh Canadian goal. Cavallini goals in the 74th and 76th made it 11-0.

Monday’s game was officially a home game for the Caymans. But the three-island group with a population of some 63,000 has the same 14-day quarantine as Canada so opted to shift the site to Bradenton where the Canadian men had held a camp in January.

The Caymans have enjoyed some success under 31-year-old English coach Ben Pugh, a former academy coach at Ipswich Town. They won four of six League C matches in the CONCACAF Nations League in 2019, including a 3-2 victory over No. 162 Barbados.

This Caymans team was without 22-year-old winger Elijah Seymour, who plays professionally in Romania for CS Tunari. Whittaker said there were too many travel restrictions to bring him in.

“We are in a rebuilding process,” Whittaker said of his squad.

He said the Caymans roster included some “key players” from the national under-17, under-20 and under-23 and “a handful of players that we called experienced players that are 24, 25, 26.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Canadian Olympic men’s soccer hopes dashed by Mexico in Tokyo qualifier

Canada has fallen short in its bid for its first Olympic men’s soccer berth in 37 years.

Uriel Antuna and Johan Vasquez scored to lift mighty Mexico to a 2-0 victory over Canada in the do-or-die semifinals of the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship Sunday.

The Mexicans, who won Olympic gold in 2012, clinched their 12th Olympic berth with the victory. The Canadian men, which haven’t played on the Olympic stage since 1984, are forced to wait another three years.

The Canadians knew they faced a mammoth battle against a CONCACAF giant that has never lost to Canada in a competitive match on its home soil. Canada came into the game 0-4-2 against Mexico at the under-23 level in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying since 1992.

WATCH | Canada loses in semis to Mexico:

Canada fell short of a spot at the Tokyo Olympics after losing 2-0 to Mexico at the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. 1:23

Canada’s defence was excellent in keeping Mexico off the scoreboard through 57 minutes before Mexico capitalized on a risky pass up the middle by goalie James Pantemis that went straight to the opponent.

Antuna, who’s scored eight goals in 16 appearances for Mexico’s full national side, was open just inside the box and one-timed a pass past Pantemis, who was otherwise solid all night.

Mexico delivered more heartbreak in the 64th minute when Vasquez out leapt Canadian defenders to get his head on a free kick.

The Mexicans outshot Canada 19-3, and 6-1 on target.


Canada had an early chance scuttled when Tajon Buchanan was taken down just outside Mexico’s box. Buchanan raised his arms in frustration when no foul was called.

Mexico outshot Canada 7-2 in the first half, including three on target, their first chance coming from a header off a corner kick in the 19th minute that sailed just wide of the net.

There were some scary moments midway through the first half when Pantemis appeared to hurt his right shoulder when he dove to deflect a shot from Antuna. Pantemis, a 24-year-old who plays for CF Montreal in Major League Soccer, grimaced in pain on the pitch for a couple of minutes but stayed in the game.

He was forced into action less than a minute later, diving to smother another attack from Antuna.

The half ended in a shoving match that brought Mexico’s substitutes off the bench.

Lucas Dias was a bright spot on the night in his first start for Canada. The 18-year-old displayed his skill early on, dribbling through three Mexicans in the midfield before being fouled. Dias, who plays in Lisbon for Sporting CP’s U23 squad, replaced previous team captain Derek Cornelius, who twisted a knee against Honduras and surely had a tough night watching from the bench.

Mexico remains undefeated

Canada finished second in Group B behind Honduras on goal difference after the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Thursday. Mexico went undefeated to win Group A.

Canada’s senior squad, meanwhile, watched the game from Bradenton, Fla., and sent a good luck message via video. The Canadians were slated to play the Cayman Islands on Sunday, but the game was delayed a day due to issues with pre-match COVID-19 tests taken by the Cayman Islands delegation, which did not meet FIFA requirements.

Canada’s women, the two-time reigning Olympic bronze medallists, have already clinched their Tokyo berth.

Mexico will play Honduras in the tournament final. The Americans will miss their third consecutive Olympics after a 2-1 loss to Honduras in the other semifinal Sunday.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Canada’s soccer World Cup qualifier postponed after Cayman Islands misses COVID-19 tests

The complexities of executing sporting events in a global pandemic were illustrated Sunday when Canada’s World Cup qualifier against the Cayman Islands was pushed back a day to Monday.

At issue were the pre-match COVID-19 tests taken by the Cayman Islands delegation, which did not meet FIFA requirements.

It appears the Caymans delegation did its best but was foiled by a tumultuous plane ride as it tried to get to Florida from Suriname, where it lost 3-0 on Wednesday in the capital of Paramaribo.

Alfredo Whittaker, president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, said his team missed its scheduled testing upon arrival because of travel issues.

The team’s charter was originally scheduled to arrive at a private airport in Sarasota, Fla., only to be turned away by U.S. Customs. The plane was diverted to Miami but, as it was about to descend, the pilot was told he could not land because it was not a scheduled flight. The plane eventually landed in Tampa with the team not getting to its hotel until 1:30 a.m. local time Friday.

The delegation underwent a rapid antigen test, which detects protein fragments specific to COVID-19. While the rapid test can deliver results in as quick as 15 minutes, the results are not always accurate as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Canada hopefully to play Monday

FIFA requires a PCR test, which is considered the gold standard in testing for the virus. It involves a lab testing a sample typically collected using a swab inserted into a person’s nose or throat. Turnaround time for the PCR test is longer.

“We did a rapid test because there was no lab around the area that would give us results until Monday or Tuesday,” Whittaker said. “But miraculously we managed to get that lab that was originally closed on Saturday and Sunday to open for us [Sunday].”

The results are expected to be ready between 2 and 3 p.m. ET Monday, ahead of the 6 p.m. kickoff at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

News of the one-day postponement came out Sunday in brief releases from Canada Soccer and FIFA in the hour before the scheduled 4 p.m. kickoff. The decision to delay the match was made “to ensure the safety of all participants in the match,” according to FIFA.


Whittaker said Canada Soccer had been “very understanding.”

“We’re living in difficult times. These are requirements and we respect requirements,” he added.

Whittaker noted the Caymans have been pretty much COVID-free.

According to the Cayman Islands government website, the country had 487 confirmed cases of COVID and two deaths as of Friday. The four most recent cases were tourists, who tested positive following routine screening.

As of Friday, 28,861 (44 per cent of the estimated population) had received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with 26 per cent having completed the two-dose course.

WATCH | Larin hat trick leads Canada past Bermuda:

Canada dominates Bermuda 5-1 as they start World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region. 3:19

The Canadian team was still at its hotel in nearby Sarasota when it got news of the problem Sunday. Canada coach John Herdman said his squad took news of the postponement in stride, after some initial “disappointment, shock.”

“I think we’re used to the many ups and downs that this world keeps throwing at us,” Herdman said in a video posted by Canada Soccer.

“If anything we’ll look at the positives which are more recovery, more regen time for those players that played on Thursday,” he added.

Herdman said he pulled his team’s leadership group together in wake of the news. The decision was made to go ahead and hold a “light, bright” training session Sunday.

“We just turn the page and [Monday] will be the big day for us.”

Canada Soccer said teams are required to provide FIFA with negative COVID-19 PCR test results for all players and staff taken no earlier than 72 hours before accessing the venue. Without the test results, teams can’t access the stadium.


Canada Soccer said it had “engaged a laboratory to be on-site with the team to conduct its testing” and that all of its players and staff had received negative testing before arriving and while in camp in Florida.

Sunday’s game was officially a home game for the Caymans. But the three-island group has the same 14-day quarantine as Canada so opted to shift the site to Bradenton.

The current FIFA international window runs through Tuesday for CONCACAF teams. But the delay in the Caymans game means extending whatever quarantines are in place at the other end when player return home.

Canada captain Atiba Hutchinson left Friday to return to his club team Besiktas in Turkey as part of an apparent prearranged deal.

The Canadian men are ranked 73rd in the world, 120 places above the Cayman part-timers.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Assistant referee Kathryn Nesbitt makes history in men’s World Cup qualifier

Kathryn Nesbitt ran the sidelines, waving a flag, blending in for all the right reasons.

The 32-year-old from Philadelphia became a pioneer as FIFA appointed women to work on-field officials for men’s World Cup qualifiers, serving as an assistant referee Thursday night when Canada opened with a 5-1 rout of Bermuda at Orlando, Florida.

There were no controversies in a match that featured Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies setting up three goals for Besiktas’ Cyle Larin. Nesbitt disappeared into the background as much as one can while working in a yellow jersey and black shorts, an orange and yellow flag in her hands.

FIFA announced the first men’s World Cup qualifiers with woman referees will be when Stephanie Frappart of France works the Netherlands’ match against visiting Latvia on Saturday and Kateryna Monzul of Ukraine calls Austria’s game vs. the visiting Faeroe Islands on Sunday. Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico served as an assistant referee for Suriname’s 3-0 win over the Cayman Islands on Wednesday.

WATCH | Nesbitt adds her name to the record books again: 

Kathryn Nesbitt, 2020 MLS Assistant Referee of the Year, makes history by becoming the first woman to referee a CONCACAF men’s World Cup qualifier. 0:34

“I’m hoping that people will bring her to the men’s World Cup in a couple of years instead of the Women’s World Cup — actually both,” said Rick Eddy, U.S. Soccer’s director of referee development. “If FIFA really wants to make a stand towards saying they’re supporting women, here’s their opportunity.”

Nesbitt worked 18 MLS games last season, including the MLS is Back tournament final, and was voted the league’s assistant referee of the year. The workload of the 6-foot tall official has included 82 league games in all since 2015 plus seven more as an assistant video referee during the last two seasons.

Nesbitt earned a FIFA badge in 2016 and officiated at that year’s Women’s Under-17 World Cup, the 2018 Women’s Under-20 World Cup, and two matches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

“She’s pretty imposing physically,” said Howard Webb, a Premier League referee from 2003-14 who is entering his fourth season as general manager of Major League Soccer’s Professional Referee Organization. “She’s tall, athletic. She’s very calm and clearly intelligent as well. She’s able to process a lot of information quickly and accurately.”

WATCH | Nesbitt marks a North American pro sports 1st during MLS Cup final:

Kathryn Nesbitt, 2020 Assistant Referee of the Year, becomes the first woman to referee a championship match in professional men’s sports in North America by officiating the 2020 MLS Cup Final. 0:30

In U.S. soccer, “The Professor” was the nickname of Julio Mazzei, who served two stints as coach of the Cosmos in the old North American Soccer League in 1979-80. Nesbitt is a real professor with a Ph.D. She taught analytical chemistry as an assistant professor at Towson University in Maryland from 2017-19.

She quit to become a full-time soccer official.

“I actually started when I was 14 years old. Clearly, that was more of a hobby at the time,” she said. “So it’s just kind of made its way into a career over the last 20ish years or so.”

A competitive figure skater for 15 years and a volleyball player in college, she began officiating under-8 games while growing up in Rochester, New York. She started to work adult and semipro matches after she finished her bachelor’s degree at St. John Fisher College and worked toward her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.

“It kept me active and I really liked that way of thinking about the game,” she said.

Breakthrough weekend for women soccer officials

She made her professional debut in a National Women’s Soccer League match between Kansas City and Portland on April 13, 2013, and her MLS debut when D.C. United played Columbus on May 2, 2015.

“I have always felt respected there, and there really hasn’t been an example for me that stands out as sexism towards me,” she said. “My first couple of years in the league, I think I was treated the same way a new referee would be treated, as, who is this person and are they going to be any good?”

At the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, Nesbitt worked Norway vs. Nigeria and Sweden vs. Canada game plus three more games as a video official, including the England-Sweden third-place match.

“That was probably one of the most incredible feelings of my entire life — to actually reach a huge milestone for myself and get to experience a World Cup in person,” she said.

On-field officials navigate the additional complication of video review. MLS has used Video Assistant Referees since late 2017, but World Cup qualifying is not aided by technology. Nesbitt has to remind herself not to raise her flag quickly on offside calls in case the VAR decides there was no violation, but be quick to wave off action when electronics are not involved.

“It can be really interesting to switch between doing an MLS game, let’s say, and then going to do a women’s international match that doesn’t necessarily have VAR yet,” she said.

Nesbitt was just the start of a breakthrough weekend for American women and soccer officials, who are selected by CONCACAF and approved by FIFA. Jennifer Garner is scheduled to be an assistant referee and Tori Penso the fourth official for Saturday’s qualifier between Aruba and Suriname in Bradenton, Florida.


Nesbitt earned a FIFA badge in 2016 and officiated at that year’s Women’s Under-17 World Cup, the 2018 Women’s Under-20 World Cup, and two matches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. (John Raoux/The Associated Press)

Nesbitt is to work as an assistant referee when Anguilla plays the Dominican Republic in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the same day Brooke Mayo is slated to be an assistant referee Sunday, and Penso is the fourth official when Canada hosts the Cayman Islands in Bradenton.

Wendy Toms was the first woman assistant referee in the Premier League from 1997-2005 and Sian Massey-Ellis is perhaps the most well-known woman soccer official worldwide because of viewers seeing her as an assistant referee in the Premier League since 2010. She worked her first Europa League match last October when PSV Eindhoven played Austria’s LASK.

Camaraderie has developed

Nesbitt trained with her for the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

“That was a really cool experience for me because she is the first,” Nesbitt said. “I had already looked up to her for years before I even got the chance to work in MLS. She’s always been an inspiration for me. She is so consistent and solid.”

The pioneering women have been rated among the sport’s best. They needed to be among the best to break through.

“Unfortunately, women are judged differently instead of being judged as equals in a lot of a professional sports,” Eddy said.

A camaraderie has developed.

“It’s a really unique, select group of women that have had these opportunities, so I think we do share that feeling and that ambition that we all have,” Nesbitt said. “We’ve all probably had a few conversations about it. And when those appointments come out and we find out about the other one getting a really special new type of appointment, we reach out to each other.”

Webb, who refereed both the 2010 Champions League and World Cup finals, hopes the pool of female officials will expand. For a long time, he says, women unfairly had to be “better than their male counterparts to prove that they were worth an opportunity.”

Nesbitt isn’t in the already under-consideration group for the 2022 men’s World Cup, but there’s always the 2026 tournament co-hosted by the United States. Webb envisions a woman taking the whistle for a men’s World Cup match, with hundreds of millions of people around the globe tuned in.

“I think it is only a matter of time before it will happen,” he said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Larin, Davies team up to help Canada crush Bermuda in World Cup qualifier

One down, 19 more to go.

Canada opened its oft-delayed World Cup qualifying campaign Thursday with a comfortable 5-1 win over Bermuda. It’s the start of a long road, with at least 19 more matches needed to get to Qatar in 2022.

Cyle Larin scored three goals, with Alphonso Davies playing provider each time, as the Canadian men played their first competitive match since a 4-1 CONCACAF Nations League loss to the U.S. on Nov. 16, 2019, at the same venue — Exploria Stadium.

Richie Laryea and debutant Theo Corbeanu also scored for Canada. Kane Critchlow replied for Bermuda with a second-half goal against the run of play.

WATCH | Larin hat trick leads Canada past Bermuda:

Canada dominates Bermuda 5-1 as they start World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region. 3:19

It was a scrappy opening 15 minutes for the Canadians, perhaps unsurprising given their time apart. But once the engine warmed up, it was one-way traffic.

“It took us a while to get started, but once we did get started you could see the quality in that team,” said coach John Herdman.

“All in all a good night, but loads to build on,” he added. “I mean you look at the potential in this group now. It’s one game and as I keep saying there’s 19 more to go. I just can’t wait to see these guys in 19 games time.”

The degree of difficulty will escalate as the qualifying road unfolds. But this Canadian squad, which was missing Jonathan David and Jonathan Osorio on the night, is brimming with promise

“This is a very very good team,” said Laryea. “We’ve got some really good pieces, some guys that we’re missing, that aren’t here right now that are also extremely huge pieces. It’s only going to get better but we can’t settle for anything.”

Canada is ranked 73rd in the world, compared to No. 169 for Bermuda. The Bermudians’ task was complicated by the fact that some of its players — and coach Kyle Lightbourne — did not make it to the match because of COVID-19 protocols.

Bermuda managed just five players on its bench, compared to 12 for Canada,

“We had to do quite a bit of quarantining to keep ourselves safe so we could even get the amount of players that we did to the match today,” said Maurice Lowe, technical development director at the Bermuda Football Association, who ran the team from the sidelines.

While officially a Canadian home game, the match was shifted to Orlando because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. The Canadians face the Cayman Islands on Sunday in Bradenton, Fla., in a game that was to have been hosted by the Caymans but was moved to ease similar quarantine hurdles.

WATCH | Breaking down Canada’s path to Qatar:

Canada’s men’s national team squad, filled with as much raw talent as there is experience, has to win the group stage in the First Round of qualification to keep their hopes of participating in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 alive. 10:08

Bermuda gave up a number of early free kicks and Canada made them pay in the 19th minute when Larin, in a crowd, got his head to a curling set-piece delivery from Davies.

The goal seemed to discombobulate the Bermudians, whose shape began to evaporate.

Larin, upping his Canada goals total to 11 in 32 matches, continued his banner season. The 25-year-old from Brampton, Ont., ranks third in the Turkish Super Lig with 14 goals for Besiktas and looks full of confidence.

“He’s an absolute predator,” Herdman said of Larin, who used to play at Exploria Stadium for Orlando City SC.

Davies, meanwhile, was a constant threat. The Bayern Munich star fullback, moved into a more attacking position by Herdman, tormented defenders on the left flank while providing quality service to teammates.

Larin made it 2-0 in the 27th after Bermuda goalkeeper Dale Eve left his penalty box in search of the ball. Davies got there first and — as Eve scrambled to get back into position — fed it to Larin, who coolly beat a defender and slotted it in.

Laryea scored his first for Canada in the 53rd minute, beating Bermuda’s sloppy attempt at an offside trap before putting the ball past Eve.

Critchlow cut the margin to 3-1 in the 63rd minute after goalkeeper Milan Borjan spilled a cross from Lejaun Simmons. Critchlow was Johnny-on-the-spot, poking the ball in.

WATCH | Referee Nesbitt makes history:

Kathryn Nesbitt, 2020 MLS Assistant Referee of the Year, makes history by becoming the first woman to referee a CONCACAF men’s World Cup qualifier. 0:34

Larin scored his third in the 68th minute, set up again by Davies who had his choice of teammates to choose from in the box. The 18-year-old Corbeanu made it 5-1 in the 81st, tapping home a perfect low cross from fellow substitute Liam Millar.

Larin and Laryea both came up through the Sigma FC program in Mississauga, Ont.

8 of starting XI Canadians based in Europe

Herdman positioned Lucas Cavallini at the tip of the Canadian spear with Davies, Larin and Junior Hoilett behind him in a potent attack.

With MLS teams in pre-season, eight of the 11 Canadian starters came from European-based dreams. Cavallini (Vancouver Whitecaps), Laryea (Toronto FC) and Kamal Miller (CF Montreal) were the MLS starters.

Atiba Hutchinson earned his 85th cap for Canada, moving him past Paul Stalteri into second place among Canadian men behind Julian de Guzman. Borjan earned his 50th cap.

For the 38-year-old Hutchinson, it marks his fifth round of World Cup qualifying. Only goalkeeper Pat Onstad, with six, has taken part in more among Canadian men.

Hutchinson, playing in his 28th World Cup qualifier, wore the captain’s armband for the 12th time. After the game, Herdman said his skipper was leaving Friday to return to Turkey.

Canada’s starting 11 Thursday took the field with a combined 266 caps under their belt. Some 191 of those came from Hutchinson, Borjan, Larin and Hoilett. The 20-year-old Davies earned his 18th cap.

Cavallini robbed

Cavallini could have had a hat trick in the first 35 minutes.

He was put in alone in the 16th minute but Eve got a hand to his low shot from the edge of the penalty box. The Whitecaps striker had another chance in the 34th minute, after a defender whiffed on a Davies cross, but shot just wide.

A minute later, Cavallini’s shot off another fine Davies feed slammed off the crossbar. The burly striker held his head in his hands and kicked the goalpost in frustration.

Eve made a fine reflex save to stop Cavallini’s header in the 56th from close range.

Herdman credited Cavallini with occupying the Bermuda centre backs, allowing space for Larin and Davies to exploit.

Nashville SC fullback Alistair Johnston came on in the 69th minute to earn his first Canada cap. Corbeanu, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder who plays for Wolves under-23 side in England, followed in the 77th and essentially scored in his first touch.

“That was brilliant,” said Herdman, who told him to “go make an impact.”

Samuel Piette came off the bench to earn his 50th cap for Canada, which improved to 6-0-4 all-time against Bermuda.

Bermuda, whose population of 72,000 is about the same as Sarnia, Ont., was without Bristol City forward Nahki Wells due to quarantine issues.

After the Caymans, Canada faces two more Group B games — June 5 at No. 200 Aruba and June 8 at home to No. 141 Suriname, which blanked the visiting Caymans 3-0 on Tuesday.

Thirty countries, split into six groups, are taking part in the first round of qualifying in the region which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Only the group winners move on.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Canada, Honduras off to semifinals after draw at CONCACAF Olympic qualifier

Canada is moving on to the semifinals at the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship after battling Honduras to a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

Defender Derek Cornelius put the Canadians (1-0-2) on the board with a diving header in the 28th minute.

Honduras (1-0-2) was quick to respond, with Denil Maldonado getting a shot past Canada’s goaltender James Pantemis in the 30th minute.

Pantemis put in another solid performance, stopping eight on-target shots on the night. Canada’s lone on-target shot was Cornelius’ goal.

The result means Canada finishes second in Group B and will face Mexico (3-0-0) in the semifinals on Sunday.

Honduras ends the round-robin stage atop Group B on goal differential and will face the United States (2-0-1) in the other semifinal.

WATCH | Canada, Honduras play to a draw:

Derek Cornelius scores for Canada in their 1-1 tie with Honduras at CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifying championship. The Canadians will face Mexico in the semifinals. 1:21

The semis will determine which two countries represent North and Central America and the Caribbean in Tokyo this summer.

Patrick Metcalfe sent the Canadian captain a crisp pass just outside the six-yard box and Cornelius drilled a header over Barrios’ gloves for a 1-0 lead.

The cushion didn’t last long, however.

Two minutes later, Honduran captain Maldonado registered the equalizer. Pantemis came off his line to challenge and Maldonado popped a header of his own into the Canadian goal.

It was the first goal Pantemis has conceded in the tournament. The CF Montreal netminder earned clean sheets in Canada’s scoreless draw with Haiti on Monday and in its 2-0 win over El Salvador on March 19.

Honduras out chanced the Canadians across the first half Thursday with four on-target shots and a great chance off the post.

Pantemis was forced to stretch out for a diving stop in the 45th minute when Jose Reyes unleashed a blast from the top of the penalty box.

Honduras nearly got a go-ahead goal in the 54th minute.

This time, Reyes sent a cross to Juan Carlos Obregon in the box and Obregon put a header up and over the bar.

The first caution of the night came in the 67th minute when Honduran midfielder Kevin Arriaga was shown the yellow card for a hard tackle. The warning was his second of the tournament so he will miss the semifinals on Sunday.

Metcalfe got a yellow a minute later for grabbing the jersey of Edwin Rodriguez. It was the midfielder’s first caution of the qualifiers.

Cornelius appeared to suffer an injury in the 72nd minute and sat on the field for several moments before going off with the trainers. He gave the captain’s armband to Pantemis before being replaced by Lucas Dias.

Canada got a late chance with a long free kick in injury time. Ryan Rapposo delivered the ball to the top of the penalty box but the Canadians couldn’t do anything with it before the final whistle sounded.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Canadian men open Olympic soccer qualifier with win over El Salvador

Sparked by Tajon Buchanan’s two early goals, Canada opened play at the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship with an impressive 2-0 win over El Salvador on Friday.

While there were a few shaky moments at the back, the Canadian under-24 side looked good against a physical El Salvador side. Canada moved the ball quickly and showed teeth in attack.

The performance was all the more commendable given eight of Canada’s starters are with MLS clubs and so just starting their pre-season.

“I’m happy with the results,” said Canada coach Mauro Biello. “It was tough for the boys in terms of the fitness of this group. But I’m very proud of the way they fought, the way they were able to hurt the other team in moments, and closed out the game.

“What I said to them is we’re going to grow throughout this tournament. It’s normal. Some players had met for the first time.”

WATCH | Canada shuts out El Salvador:

Tajon Buchanan made an impressive international debut, scoring twice as Canada opened play at the CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifying championship in Guadalajara, Mexico with a 2-0 win over El Salvador. 3:14

The eight-country tournament will decide which two teams represent the region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, at the Tokyo Olympics. The qualifier was originally scheduled for last March but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The Canadian men last made it to the Olympics in 1984 in Los Angeles where they lost to Brazil in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals.

Canada continues Group B play against Haiti on Monday and Honduras next Wednesday. Group A opened play Thursday with the U.S. defeating Costa Rica 1-0 and Mexico beating the Dominican Republic 4-1.

The top two in each group advance to the semifinals with the winners booking their tickets to Tokyo.

Buchanan, who is entering his third season with the New England Revolution, made his presence felt early. A live wire blessed with pace and a deep bag of tricks, he turned heads in MLS last year when he led all Canadians with 23 regular-season appearances — some at fullback.

“Everybody will see the two goals but coaches will look at the work that he does,” said Biello. “The way he tracked back in the 90th minute, for me, was quite impressive.

“He’s a player that’s just growing. He had a good season last year in New England, came into camp with the men’s [senior] team in January [and] showed his qualities. And now today he was focused to show what he could do and he was able to get those two great goals. And again the work that he puts in for the team is excellent.”

WATCH | Canada’s path to Tokyo:

Signa Butler is joined by John Molinaro of CPL.ca and Joshua Kloke of The Athletic to talk about Canada’s roster challenges, strengths and what they need to do to grab one of two spots for Tokyo 6:43

The 22-year-old winger from Brampton, Ont., opened the scoring in the 17th minute, capping a rapid-fire attack that saw Ballou Tabla find Buchanan in space near the edge of the El Salvador penalty box. The speedy Buchanan beat defender Kevin Menjivar and slotted his left-footed shot from a tight angle through goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez’s legs.

Buchanan scored again four minutes later, this time with a rocket of a shot through traffic. A Canadian free kick landed at the feet of Derek Cornelius in the El Salvador penalty box and the Canada captain calmly laid the ball back to Buchanan, who hammered it home with his right foot from just outside the box.

Buchanan, named Canada Soccer’s Youth International Player of the Year in 2020, celebrated with an equally impressive double-somersault. A kneeling Cornelius then mimed giving him a shoeshine.

Buchanan is the 12th Canadian to score twice in a CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifier — and the first since Tosaint Ricketts in 2008.

Buchanan played provider in the 51st minute, beating a defender down the flank and the bending a perfect ball to Tabla in front of goal. But Gonzalez got his body in front of the shot.

It was 30 degrees Celsius at kickoff at the 55,000-capacity Jalisco Stadium, which was empty due to the pandemic. The Canadians also had to deal with the altitude (1,550 metres).

Honduras blanked Haiti in the earlier game. Haiti started with 10 men and an outfield player in goal because part of its delegation arrived in Guadalajara late, impacting the timing of COVID-19 testing. The team got reinforcements during the match, including a goalkeeper, after tests came back negative.

Adding to Haiti’s woes, defender Djimy Alexis was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card.

Biello’s starting 11 included five players who had seen action with the senior side: goalkeeper James Pantemis, defenders Zachary Brault-Guillard, Marcus Godinho and Cornelius and forwards Charles-Andreas Brym and Tabla.

The 23-year-old Cornelius has the most senior caps at 13. Pantemis and Buchanan are uncapped but have both spent time with the senior team.

Pantemis has a good game, equal to everything thrown at him. Biello called his team’s defensive efforts “a hell of a shift.”

8 MLS players in starting XI

Canada’s starting 11 featured the eight MLS players — three each from Montreal and Vancouver and one apiece from Minnesota and New England. Of the other three, one was from the USL and two from Europe.

There were six yellow cards in the game, three apiece.

Only players born in 1997 or later are eligible for Olympic qualifying (the same age limit was kept despite the qualifying tournament’s one-year delay). Countries that make it to the Olympics are allowed up to three overage players.

Canada made two late changes to its roster Friday morning.

Citing medical reasons, Canada replaced defender Thomas Meilleur-Giguere (Pacific FC, CPL) and forward Kris Twardek (Jagiellonia, Poland) with Cavalry FC defender/winger Mo Farsi and York United FC defender Diyaeddine Abzi.

While Canada Soccer did not specify the medical issues, Meilleur-Giguere said he had torn his medial collateral ligament the day before the match.

“Life is so unfair sometimes, worked so hard for that moment and boom,” he wrote in a social media post.

The departures leave Canada short at centre back, a problem that was exacerbated when Callum Montgomery left the game with an injury.

Farsi, named Best Canadian U-21 Player of the Year in the CPL in 2020, came off the bench in the 85th minute.

Mexico, which has won the last two CONCACAF qualifiers, and Honduras represented the region at the last two Olympics. Honduras was fourth at the 2016 Rio Games while Mexico defeated Brazil 2-1 to win gold in 2012 in London.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Canadian men’s soccer team battling more than tough opposition at Olympic qualifier

Canada will be battling more than El Salvador on Friday when it opens play at the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in Guadalajara.

Heat (the forecast for the 4 p.m. local time kickoff calls for a temperature of 29 C), altitude (1,550 metres), inactivity (14 of Canada’s 20-man roster play in North America and so are coming from out of season) and unfamiliarity (the Mexico tournament marks the first exclusive get-together for this under-23 team) will likely all come into play at Jalisco Stadium.

But for Canada Soccer and men’s supremo John Herdman, who has tasked the Olympic team to assistant Mauro Biello while he looks after the senior side in World Cup qualifying, it’s a chance to test Canada’s depth and processes.

Since taking over the men’s national team in January 2018, Herdman has brought plenty of young talent into camp to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Canada looking to end Olympic dearth 

“This is an opportunity for a lot of young players here to showcase themselves but at the same time, in terms of the program, everything’s aligned from the men’s national team all the way to our U-15 program,” Biello told a virtual news conference Thursday.

“So a lot of these players that have had some experience graduating through the youth teams and now into the U-23s in our environments are now ready.”

Ten of Canada’s 20 players have national team experience.

Derek Cornelius (13 caps), Marcus Godinho (5), Zachary Brault-Guillard (4), Charles-Andreas Brym (3), Theo Bair (2), Zorhan Bassong (2), Ballou Tabla (2) and Kris Twardek (1) have all played for the senior side while the uncapped Tajon Buchanan and James Pantemis have been called into at least one senior camp.

Herdman and Biello joined forces in guiding a young Canadian side that turned heads at the prestigious Toulon youth tournament in France in May-June 2018.

Cornelius, Pantemis, Aidan Daniels and forward Theo Bair were on that Toulon team.

Now they are looking to help the Canadian men return to the Olympics for the first time since the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, where Canada lost to Brazil in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals.

Finding the ‘rhythm’

“We’re sure that the quality is there. We’re sure that we have the talent,” said Cornelius, a 23-year-old defender with the Vancouver Whitecaps. “And it’s just about getting the small things right so that we can really show it on the pitch.”

The eight-team Olympic qualifier was originally scheduled for last March but was postponed due to the pandemic. It will send two teams from the region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, to the Summer Olympics.

Only players born in 1997 or later are eligible for Olympic qualifying (the same age limit was kept despite the qualifying tournament’s one-year delay). Countries that make it to the Olympics are allowed up to three overage players.

After facing El Salvador, Canada continues Group B play against Haiti on Monday and Honduras next Wednesday. Group A, which opened the tournament Thursday, consists of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the U.S.

The top two in each group advance to the semifinals with the winners booking their tickets to Tokyo.

Mexico, which has won the last two CONCACAF qualifiers, and Honduras represented the region at the last two Olympics. Honduras was fourth at the 2016 Rio Games while Mexico defeated Brazil 2-1 to win gold in 2012 in London.

Biello calls El Salvador a possession-based technical team that is organized defensively. It’s also a team that has been together three times already, he noted.

“Obviously my main concern is getting that rhythm,” Biello said of his squad. “A lot of these players haven’t played, whether it’s off-season, whether it’s pre-season.”

Plenty to play for

“This is not going to happen perfectly on the first go,” added Cornelius. “I’m just looking to improve and get the team to be better and better as we go along in the tournament.”

With World Cup qualifiers and the Gold Cup on deck this year, the Canadian men have plenty to play for.

Canada and El Salvador tied 0-0 when they met at the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament. Canada won 4-2 in 1996.

Biello was unable to summon Toronto FC young talent after the MLS team went into a training camp lockdown earlier this month due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

El Salvador forwards Joshua Perez and Enrico Hernandez are both based in Europe, with Spain’s UD Ibiza Spain and the Netherlands’ Vitesse, respectively.

Canada Olympic Team

Goalkeepers: Sebastian Breza, Bologna (Italy); Matthew Nogueira, CS Maritimo (Portugal); James Pantemis, CF Montreal (MLS).

Defenders: Zorhan Bassong, CF Montreal (MLS); Zachary Brault-Guillard, CF Montreal (MLS); Derek Cornelius, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Marcus Godinho, FSV Zwickau (Germany); Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Pacific FC (CPL); Callum Montgomery, Minnesota United FC (MLS).

Midfielders: Michael Baldisimo, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Aidan Daniels, Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL Championship); Lucas Dias, Sporting Lisbon (Portugal); Patrick Metcalfe, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); David Norman, Cavalry FC (CPL) Ryan Raposo, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS).

Forwards: Theo Bair, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Charles-Andreas Brym, Royal Excel Mouscron (Belgium); Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution (MLS); Ballou Tabla, CF Montreal (MLS); Kris Twardek, Jagiellonia (Poland).

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Canadian men pull out important win over Brazil to open water polo Olympic qualifier

In a match many considered a must-win for Canada, five men scored twice in a tournament-opening 11-7 victory over Brazil on Sunday at the FINA water polo Olympic qualifier in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Sean Spooner had a pair of goals in the first period and team captain Nic Constantin-Bicari, Aleksa Gardijan, Jérémie Côté and George Torakis followed, with the latter named man of the match. Gaelan Patterson also scored in the final quarter for a Canadian squad seeking its first Olympic berth since 2008.

“We played well as a team today,” Gardijan told Water Polo Canada. “Our defence limited [Brazil’s] chances and we were able to stay focused throughout the game.”

Three of the 12 teams will secure a spot at the Tokyo Games this summer, joining Australia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Serbia, South Africa, Spain and United States.

Canada, ranked 13th in the world, is also facing No. 6 Montenegro, No. 8 Greece, Georgia and Turkey in group play at the week-long event. Greece and Montenegro, in no particular order, are expected to secure the top two spots in Group A, with two other teams also advancing to the crossover quarter-finals on Feb. 19.

WATCH | Canada strikes early, often to begin Olympic qualifier:

Canada downed Brazil 11-7 in the Olympic qualifiers tournament. The top-three teams from the tourney grab the final remaining spots for Tokyo 2020. 1:51

“There’s a monumental difference between placing third or fourth in the group,” CBC Sports analyst George Gross Jr. said earlier this week. “The fourth-place finisher will cross over to play [likely Group B winner] Croatia [ranked No. 2] and it’s goodbye Charlie, but the team finishing third is going to draw a [favourable opponent].

“Turkey is a winnable game and Canada has to win against Brazil and Georgia. Canada is probably the better team [than Turkey], based on results in 2018 and 2019.”

Canada schedule

  • Monday vs. Montenegro, 11:30 a.m.
  • Feb. 16 vs. Georgia, 10 a.m.
  • Feb. 17 vs. Turkey, 2:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 18 vs. Greece, 8:30 a.m.
  • Feb. 19 — Quarter-finals
  • Feb. 20 — Semifinals
  • Feb. 21 — Finals

Canada faces Montenegro on Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

“It will be a tough match [but] we tied them at worlds in 2017, so anything is possible,” Gardijan said.

Pair of blown leads

“Montenegro is more experienced and has been playing throughout the past year along with Greece,” said Gross Jr., the former Canadian national team bench boss who has coached the University of Toronto women’s team the past 12 years after guiding the men in the early 1990s.”But you have to remember the pressure on Greece, Montenegro and Croatia is enormous. If they don’t make the Olympics, it’s a national disaster.”

Greece edged Georgia 11-10 in other Group A action on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Canadians jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter at Zwemcentrum Rotterdam, only to watch the Brazilians battle back to even matters before Côté notched the go-ahead goal with two seconds on the clock.

Constantin-Bicari is likely to be the offensive force for a young outfit featuring many players making their Olympic qualification debut while Côté, a six-foot-two attacker from Montreal, is a standout offensive player with University of the Pacific Tigers in Stockton, Calif.

Brazil pulled even again early in the second quarter but Gardijan restored Canada’s lead before halftime with a gem of a shot with a man up.


Canada extended its lead to 7-4 early in the third as Constantin-Bicari recorded his second of the game on a rebound off goalkeeper Slobodan Soro, then Côté added his second.

Canada roster

  • Milan Radenovic, Toronto
  • Gaelan Patterson, North Vancouver, B.C.
  • Bogdan Djerkovic, Ottawa
  • Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Repentigny, Que.
  • Mark Spooner, Port Coquitlam, B.C.
  • George Torakis, Montreal
  • Jérémie Côté, Pointe-Claire, Que.
  • Sean Spooner, Port Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Aleksa Gardijan, Gatineau, Que.
  • Aria Soleimanipak, Calgary
  • Max Schapowal, Beaconsfield, Que.
  • Reuel D’Souza, Port Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Samuel Reiher, Longueuil, Que.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News