Canada begins training in Mexico

Canada had its first day of training in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico today. The team trained for nearly two hours at the practice field adjacent to the Estadio. The team has two days before its 10 September match against Mexico at that very stadium.



It will be match three of six for Canada in CONCACAF Stage III of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Qualifiers. Canada needs points after posting a draw (1:1 on 27 August against Jamaica) and a loss (1:2 on 6 September against Honduras) in its first two matches. Canada is in third place in its four-team group, but only the top-two teams will advance after the six-game set is through.

Canada had its first day of training in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico today. The team trained for nearly two hours at the practice field adjacent to the Estadio. The team has two days before its 10 September match against Mexico at that very stadium.



It will be match three of six for Canada in CONCACAF Stage III of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Qualifiers. Canada needs points after posting a draw (1:1 on 27 August against Jamaica) and a loss (1:2 on 6 September against Honduras) in its first two matches. Canada is in third place in its four-team group, but only the top-two teams will advance after the six-game set is through.



Canada’s luck in its first two matches could have been better. In both matches, the team was ahead and in a position to collect three points. Two plays stick out as turning points in these matches. Against Jamaica, it was Julian de Guzman’s powerful shot that hit the crossbar in the 88th minute. If that wasn’t going in, nothing was. The score ended in a 1:1 draw.



Against Honduras, it was Tomasz Radzinski’s injury in the 15th minute. Canada was spinning on all cylinders with a 1-0 lead, but then had to spend the next seven minutes with a man down. Canada still created its chances throughout the first half (oh, how Ali Gerba’s header had to hit the post in the 45th minute!!), but Honduras stormed back and scored twice early in the second half.



With one point in two matches, Canada now needs to put together its own little winning streak. Canada will likely need at minimum three wins in its next four matches if it wishes to advance to the CONCACAF final stage in 2009.



Canada’s Sunday-night arrival was front-page news in Tuxtla Gutierrez. Canada arrived one day before Mexico, who arrived early Monday night. Mexico, however, had a much shorter trip as it had been in Mexico City just two nights earlier for the 3:0 victory over Jamaica.



Mexico is playing its third-straight home game because its match-day two venue had been switched from Jamaica to Mexico. After Wednesday, Mexico will close out CONCACAF Stage III with three-straight road matches, including 15 October in Edmonton, AB (ticketmaster.ca / 780.447.6822).



The Canadian team has scouted Mexico well, but it will need to play at its best on Wednesday night to beat the confederation’s top seed. After two matches, Mexico is first with six points, Honduras is second with three points, Canada is third with one point, and Jamaica is last with one point.

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