Canada Soccer

Canada lose 1:2 against Panama at Concacaf Under-20 Championship

Posted on 6 November 2018 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-14 to U-23

Canada Soccer’s Men’s U-20 National Team fell 1:2 to Panama in Group D action after going down to ten men early in the 24th minute. The loss drops Canada into a tie for second place in the group with matches against St. Kitts and Nevis and Martinique remaining on 8 and 10 November.

The first half saw Panama content to feel out the game in possession and knock the ball across their backline. In the 15’ Canada had their best chance of the half as Theo Bair found himself in space. His run into the box resulted in a ball back for Mathieu Choinière whose shot rattled off two Panamanian defenders and away. Canada went down to ten men after Baldisimo was sent off in the 24’. Panama went on to score their opening goal in first half stoppage time, 45’ +2.

In the second half, the Canadians continued to push forward knowing they needed the result. Shortly after a positive ranging run from second half substitute Clement Bayiha, Noble Okello collected a ball in the centre of the pitch and knocked wide to Daniel Kinumbe who played Jordan Perruzza down the left side. Perruzza’s cross was poorly cleared and fell to Okello who buried from the top of the box to draw Canada even in the 55’. However, Panama put themselves ahead again for good in the 59’.

Panama also went down to ten men in the 87’ after Jorge Mendez saw a second yellow for time wasting. Canada took advantage on the free kick getting two great shots on Goalkeeper Marcos Allen but an offside call gave away possession. Canada pushed to get the equalizer, but time ran out with the Canadians pressuring.

Canada’s starting lineup featured Alessandro Busti in goal, Émile Legault at right back, Julian Dunn and Yohan Le Bourhis at centre back, Daniel Kinumbe at left back, and Michael Baldisimo, Noble Okello, captain Mathieu Choinière, Dante Campbell, Adonijah Reid and Theo Bair from the midfield up through to the attack.

In the second half, coach Andrew Olivieri replaced Legault with Clément Bayiha and Reid with Jordan Perruzza (46'), and Kinumbe with Noah Verhoeven (76’).

The Canada-Panama match was one of eight matches at the IMG Center in Bradenton on Tuesday 6 November as part of the 87-match 2018 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship.

The road to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 through Concacaf competition is a challenging task, with Canada's last qualification at a FIFA men's youth tournament in 2013 and last participation at a FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2007. With the revamped format of 34 nations and now five group opponents in the initial phase, ‎Canada will face strong opposition across a tough schedule with five matches in nine days.


"It’s going to be tough qualifying as it always is, but we are at the start of a new journey with our program laying the foundations of culture and tactical identity," said John Herdman, Canada Soccer's Men's National Team Head Coach and Men's EXCEL Program Director. "We have a new Men's EXCEL Program that will begin to expose our players more consistently to those foundations, yet we know that our players are highly motivated and will be giving their best to qualify."

Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team.

Canada Soccer's Men's National Youth Teams have won two Concacaf titles: both the 1986 and 1996 Concacaf Men's Youth Championships. Canada have qualified for eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and six editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.


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