Canada Soccer

Canada dreams of Olympic qualification

Posted on 16 March 2008 in ↳ Men's U-23 Team (Olympic)

Canada may not have thought much of Johnny Placide two nights ago, but the Canucks will be sure to shake his hand after the Haitian goalkeeper came up big in a 1:5 loss to México in the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualification Tournament.

"He was unbelievable," says Canada's coach Nick Dasovic. "He was on fire. I don't know where he plays, but he definitely deserves a contract somewhere in the world."

Placide, who plays for Havre in France, made numerous second-half saves that kept the goal difference at four, just enough for Canada to squeak through to the 20 March semi-final in Nashville, TN. Had México scored one more goal late in the match, they would have advanced ahead of Canada.

Canada finished the tournament with four points - a 1:1 draw against México, a 1:2 loss to Haiti, and a 5:0 win over Guatemala. Will Johnson and Tosaint Ricketts each scored twice while Kyle Hall scored the fifth and final goal in the final minute.

"Not in my wildest imagination did I think we would win that big," says coach Nick Dasovic. "The boys really overexceeded expectations. The players did fantastic."

Amongst Placide's incredible saves was a penalty save on Cesar Villaluz. México also missed numerous chances, twice on 5-on-0 situations. With Haiti desperate for a draw or win, Haiti seemingly left their back-end open in attempt to score their own goals. In the last thirty minutes, México scored four goals to Haiti's one.

Canada will now face the United States in a one-game semi-final playoff on 20 March (17.00 or 20.00). The winner will not only advance to the 23 March CONCACAF final, but will also qualify for the 2008 Men's Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing.

Canada last competed in the Men's Olympic Football Tournament at Los Angeles 1984. They also took part in Montréal 1976 (as tournament hosts) and were Olympic Champions at St. Louis 1904. For Canadian players born 1985 or later, they have competed in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Nederland 1985 (1985s) and FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 (1987s).

Group A | GP | W-D-L | GF/GA | PTS
Groupe A | MJ | G-N-P | BP/BC | PTS

United States | 3 | 2-1-0 | 3/1 | 7
Honduras | 3 | 2-0-1 | 3/1 | 6
Panama | 3 | 1-0-2 | 4/3 | 3
Cuba | 3 | 0-1-2 | 2/7 | 1

Group B | GP | W-D-L | GF/GA | PTS
Groupe B | MJ | G-N-P | BP/BC | PTS

Guatemala | 3 | 2-0-1 | 3/6 | 6
Canada | 3 | 1-1-1 | 7/3 | 4
México | 3 | 1-1-1 | 7/4 | 4
Haiti | 3 | 1-0-2 | 3/7 | 3

Schedule / Horaire :
20.03.2008 : Nashville, TN, United States, LP Field
Semi-final #1 / Demi-final #1 : 17.00
Semi-final #2 / Demi-final #2 : 20.00
23.03.2008 : Nashville, TN, United States, LP Field
Third-place / Troisième place : 13.00
Final / Final : 16.00

Most goals / Plus grand nombre de buts :
CAN - Will Johnson - 3
CAN - Tosaint Ricketts - 2
USA - Freddy Adu - 2
PAN - Edwin Aguilar - 2
HON - Hendry Thomas - 2
MEX - Luis Ángel Landin - 2
HAI - Leonel Saint-Preux - 2

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