Canada Para Soccer wins group, will face Venezuela in Quarterfinals
Posted on 1 August 2016 in Para Soccer
Canada will face Venezuela in the Quarterfinals of the 2016 IFCPF Qualification Tournament. Canada have reached the final eight - and already qualified for next year's IFPCF World Championships - after winning their group perfect with wins over Denmark (10:0 on 29 July), Finland (10:0 on 30 July), and Japan (7:0 on 1 August).
Canada will face Venezuela on Wednesday 3 August at the Vejen Idrætscenter (Field 1) in Vejen, Denmark. The Quarterfinals match will be broadcast live on the IFCPF Youtube channel at 19.00 local (13.00 ET / 10.00 PT). Just last year, the two sides faced each other three times with an even record of one win, one draw, and one loss each (also with four goals apiece).
"We look at our goals: we wanted to qualify (for Argentina 2017) and we achieved that; we wanted to finish top of the table and we achieved that," said Drew Ferguson, Head Coach of Canada Soccer's National Para Soccer Team. "We're so far on par for setting our goals."
As for goals, Samuel Charron is Canada's leader with 10 goals in three matches. He is the first player in the program's history to score hat tricks in three successive matches. With 10 goals and four assists, he has been involved in more than half of Canada's 27 goals.
Beyond Charron, seven other players have scored goals in the first three matches: Liam Stanley (six goals, four assists), Mattew Brown (four goals, two assists), injured Jamie Ackinclose (two goals), Lucas Bruno (two goals, one assist), Nicholas Heffernan (one goal), Raji Kamoun (one goal), and Vito Proietti (one goal, five assists). Teen Duncan McDonald has one assist while goalkeepers Damien Wojtiw (two) and Sam Denton (one) have both posted clean sheets.
"It has been very positive. In these games, we have asked our players to score early so we can get the lead and get other players on the field (in the second half)," said Ferguson. "It has worked out well as the players have done what we have asked."
From 13 nations at Vejen 2016 in Denmark, eight will qualify for next year's 16-nation IFCPF World Championships in Argentina (with eight nations previously qualified in 2015). In Denmark, the top-two nations from each group will qualify for Argentina 2017. At Vejen 2016, the Quarterfinals are 3 August, the Semifinals are 4 August, and the medal matches are 6 August.
Canada's Para Soccer Team competes in several global competitions over a four-year cycle, including the International Federation of CP Football's biennial World Championships. Canada also strives to compete in the America's Cup, the Parapanamerican Games, and the Paralympic Games.
In past editions of the IFCPF World Championships, Canada finished 10th in 2015, 12th in 2011, 9th in 2009, 12th in 2007, and 11th in 2005. The next edition takes place in 2017, with the qualification tournament in July-August 2016 in Vejen, Denmark.
Canada's Para Soccer Team is made up of athletes who have cerebral palsy or have had a stroke or brain injury.