Lively second half not enough for Canada M23 to secure a win
Posted on 17 July 2015 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-14 to U-23
Canada’s Men’s U-23 Team offered an entertaining match to the fans gathered at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, ON, on Thursday night, but had to settle for a scoreless draw against Panama in their second of three 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games matches.
The Canadians jumped to a quick start, creating a number of chances in the first 15 minutes of play, notably on a great run by Ben Fisk, whose shot hit the post, and Molham Babouli who was called offside.
“The positive that I take from this is that we are creating those opportunities, we are getting in those situations where we have opportunities to score, the ball may not be bouncing our way,” commented Ben Fisk. “We just have to continue to put ourselves in those situations and keep shooting and the goals will come.”
The rest of the first half however was in favour of the Panamanians, who managed to get awarded 11 corners in the first 45 minutes alone. Thankfully, Canada’s Crépeau remained solid throughout the match, making a couple timely saves and confidently organizing his back line.
“In the first half, Panama had maybe 10 or 11 corners, but we defended them well, none of them were chances of goal,” analyzed Head Coach Antonio Floro. “In the second half we tried to fix some defensive problems and I think we started the second half better than the first half. The last 20 minutes of the game was an open game, it was goal to goal play because both teams had chances of goals. We could’ve scored but they could’ve done the same, but I think it was because we tried to win the game.”
Canada showed a lot more pace and energy in the second half, often triggered by the quick and agile play of diminutive Hanson Boakai. Canada’s second period substitutions, Clarke and Aparicio, also sparked some promising attacks.
Panama enjoyed consistent possession of the ball in Canada’s final third, and Waterman repeatedly threatened with his speed and awareness.
In the end, neither side could find the back of the net, leaving the match with a nil-nil draw.
“We think we deserved more out of it,” said Manuel Aparicio after the game. “but overall I think it was good. We showed what we’re made of, that we can compete against teams like Panama. Overall it was a good performance we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Canada now sits in third place in Group B (one draw, one loss for one point), behind Panama (one win, one draw for four points) and Brazil (two wins for six points). Canada will next face Peru, who is last in the group, and will need a win and a Panama loss to make it out of to the semi-finals.
The Canada-Peru match will be played on Monday, 20 July at 20.30 ET / 17.30 PT and broadcast live on Sportsnet and CBCSports.ca.