Bradenton, Florida | IMG Center
CANADA Theo Bair hits the crossbar.
Two first-half goals from Noble Okello and late goals from José Hernández and Theo Bair sent Canada into a tie for first place in Group D at the 2018 Concacacf Men's U-20 Championship. After a weather delay, the young Canadians dominated possession against Dominica moving the ball confidently and creating numerous scoring opportunities.
Canada opened the scoring in the 24th minute after creating two early scoring chances including a Theo Bair shot off the cross bar. Off a blocked cross, Theo Bair headed a free ball down to Adojinah Reid at the top of the 18, Reid knocked it back to Noble Okello, who buried it into the right side of goal.
Bair had two more opportunities within the opening half hour with the Dominica keeper Tafari Elie making two big saves to prevent the lead from opening. In the 31st minute, on a quick switch of play Noah Verhoeven played a long ball through to Daniel Kinumbe who found himself with lots of space down the left side. Kinumbe played a ball through the box to Okello, who knocked in his second.
In the second half, Adojinah Reid’s abilities on the ball and Daniel Kinumbe’s advanced position on the left side gave Dominica trouble. In the 81st, Baldisimo’s ball wide to Kinumbe created space for Reid who received a pass and drew three defenders, Hernández was able to tap in the loose ball. Baldisimo’s long passes were key again as he played out of the back to Choinière who’s deft flick put Bair in alone, for Canada’s fourth.
In other Group D action, Canada’s matchday 2 and 3 opponents Guadeloupe and Panama played to a 4:0 Panama victory. Canada will play Guadeloupe 4 November and Panama 6 November before wrapping up their group stage against St. Kitts and Nevis and Martinique who played to a matchday one 1:0 Martinique victory.
LINEUP & NOTES
Canada’s starting XI featured Thomas Hasal 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, Noah Verhoeven, Clément Bayiha, Adonijah Reid, and Theo Bair from the midfield up through to the attack. In the second half, coach Andrew Olivieri replaced Bayiha with José Hernández (53'), Verhoeven with Mathieu Choinière (64'), and Legault with Dante Campbell (80’).
The Canada-Dominica match was one of eight matches at the IMG Center in Bradenton on Friday 2 November as part of the 87-match 2018 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship.