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Canada Stunned by Guadeloupe


J.J. Pavlick

Canada is now considered by many to be one of the powerhouses of Concacaf and after a bad World Cup performance they will look to prove they're just as good as their southern neighbor the United States and tri-host for the next world cup Mexico. In the first attempt to prove how dangerous they are, the United States danced on them for a 2 - 0 win, not exactly the performance Canada wanted or expected to have. If you ask Canada, they honestly believe they're better than the United States and that the better team didn't win the Nations League.

It's safe to say that the United States is currently the top dawg in Concacaf after a blah World Cup performance in Qatar, the U.S. came home and beat up their neighbors Mexico (3-0) and Canada (2-0). The one thing Canada has going for them is they don't have a manager who hits women or attacks his stars before a big world cup. If GGG thought, he was safe in an article about Canada he had another thing coming. It's hard to talk about Canada and not bring up Mexico or the U.S. The facts remain GGG made it barely out of the group stage, was outcoached the entire tournament and especially in the knockout round against the Netherlands (Van Gaal), the legendary coach toyed with GGG, trapping him like a little mouse, and knocking him senseless at will before devouring him whole in a single gulp.

Canada is looking to come out of the gates strong and go for an early knockout blow to get back in shape and prepare for a run at the finals.

Guadeloupe came through the qualification route, getting through the first and second rounds of the Prelims without conceding in either game. Les Gwada Boys beat Antigua and Barbuda 5-0 and Guyana 2-0 to move into the group stage for the fifth time in their history. Canada will look for leadership from some of the players who were part of the CNLF run, with GK Milan Borjan, MF Stephen Eustaquio, and FW Lucas Cavallini among the players that Head Coach John Herdman recalled from earlier this month, while FW Charles-Andreas Brym and DF Zac McGraw are among those looking to make a name for themselves.

Guadeloupe manager Jocelyn Angloma, who led the team in scoring during its historic run to the Gold Cup semifinals in 2007, will lean on the experience of DF Meddy Lina and hope for more quality performances from Prelims standouts DF Andreaw Gravillon and FW Luther Archimede.

Canada didn't have the start they wished for as they went down 1 -0 in the 23' when Thierry Ambrose opened the scoring. He just made a run into the box, took the through-ball, and danced around center-back Steven Vitoria before slotting a perfect ball past Canada's goalkeeper Milan Borjan second post for the lead. Thierry had two opportunities prior in the early stages of the first half, but Borjan came up big stopping the initial shot, then Ambrose put the rebound just wide of the post.

Canada would get lucky and escape the first half only down one goal, it's been an absolutely shocking performance so far by both teams. For Guadeloupe, it's been an amazing first half, while it was abysmal for the Canadian side. Canada is struggling out there and allowing Guadeloupe to dictate the pace and play at this point. Canada will need something to happen and fast starting in the second half of the match.

Lucas Cavallini understood the assignment at halftime and got his team back in the match quickly. In the 50' he made a great curved pass to Junior Hoilett who ran it down the left side, He then sent it back across the box to a sliding Cavallini who made contact with the pass sending it just inside the 1st post in the bottom corner. It was a beautiful goal to watch develop and showed how good Canada can be when they play inside their talent and don't try to overdo anything. The score is now 1 - 1 with plenty of time for Canada to get the expected win.

Twenty minutes later Canada would finally take the lead, Ali Ahmed went dancing 25 yards from the right of the goal, broke one defender then played give and go with Charles Brym, who hit Ahmed in stride, and he sent a flick into the box, Richie Laryea would collide on the ball with two Guadeloupe defenders, it hits Meddy Lina's ankle and goes past his goalkeeper Davy Rouyard to give Canada the 2 - 1 lead via own goal.

The fans in Toronto at BMO Stadium thought they had seen Canada take a lead they would hold for the remainder of the second half, with just twenty minutes plus stoppage time remaining. Unfortunately for Canada, own goal hysteria would come back and get Canada in the 94', fans were celebrating a Canadian win only to see the horror unfold in front of their very eyes. Guadeloupe would earn a late free kick, Rotson would take the free kick, and he found the head of teammate Nathanael Saintini, whose flick made the play happen, he found his teammate Thierry Ambrose making a run wide on the left side of the box, after taking one touch he sent a cross pass into the center of the 6-yard box where it was tapped in by Jacen Russell Rowe of Canada who tried to block the pass to Cedric Avinel. It was unfortunate for Rowe, but if he didn't attempt to block the pass it would've found the foot of Avinel for a walk-in goal. Instead of Canada getting three points and sitting well they only get a point in a match they should've won.

You can't call out the United States and Mexico claiming to be better than them, then drop a game to Guadeloupe at home. Canada will look to bounce back in their next match against Guatemala in Houston, TX at 9:30 P.M. on July 1st. Guadeloupe will face Cuba in the earlier match at 7:30 P.M.

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