Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Canada wins quarter final & qualifies for FIFA U-17 World Cup
Canada booked its ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 on Wednesday with a 2:0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in the quarter-final stage of the 2011 CONCACAF Men’s U-17 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Chris Nanco opened the scoring in the 15th minute and Keven Aleman scored a wonderful strike four minutes later to provide Canada with the decisive goals in the match.
With four teams qualifying for Mexico 2011 from the CONCACAF Championship, Canada entered the quarter-final match with the knowledge that a victory over its Caribbean opponent was all that was standing between it and a berth on the World stage.
Canada started the match on the front foot and controlled the opening stages passing the ball in a confident fashion setting an early indication of what was to be mainly one-way traffic throughout most of the first half.
The Canadian attack was looking dangerous and Nanco went close to opening the scoring in the 11th minute as a lofted cross found him alone at the far post but he could only lift his first time effort over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Nanco didn’t have long to wait to make amends for his early miss as just four minutes later he converted from close range to give Canada the early lead in the 15th minute. Nanco ghosted free of his defenders at the back post and got to the end of long throw in from Parker Seymour which ricocheted through the Trinidad penalty area before finding its way to Nanco who made no mistake directing his low header past the scrambling goalkeeper.
The goal was just reward for the young Canucks who had dominated the early proceedings maintaining possession for long periods of time as they patiently built wave after wave of attack.
Keven Aleman and Michael Petrasso were looking particularly dangerous in attack for Canada as their quick and creative dribbling was giving the Trinidad defenders fits.
It was Aleman who scored Canada’s second goal of the match with a wonderful strike in the 19th minute to extend the Canadian lead. Aleman took on his marker one-on-one before moving across into the middle and flew past two defenders to fire a perfect shot into the top corner of the net past goalkeeper Weston in the Trinidad goal.
Petrasso had a great chance to add a third for Canada in the 35th minute as he received an excellent pass from Aleman before expertly rounding the goalkeeper only for his shot to be deflected away by the desperate tackle of a Trinidadian defender.
Having been under pressure for much of the first half, Trinidad made a late push in the final few minutes attacking the Canadian defence for the first time in the match but were unable to create any significant scoring opportunities as the first half ended 2-0 Canada.
Trinidad and Tobago came out to start the second half with a high degree of urgency knowing that only a victory would see them advance. The Caribbean side carried most of the possession and enjoyed a territorial advantage for much of the second half but were unable to seriously test Maxime Crépeau who had a strong match in goal for Canada. The entire Canadian defence had another solid match as Canada kept its third consecutive clean sheet of the tournament and have yet to concede a single goal thus far in the competition, outscoring its opponents 10-0.
For the quarter-final match, Canada's starting XI featured Maxime Crépeau in goal, Marco Lapenna at left back, Daniel Stanese and Luca Gasparotto at centre back, Parker Seymour at right back, and Bryce Alderson, Samuel Piette, Michael Petrasso, Chris Nanco, Keven Aleman and Sali Jalali from midfield up through to the attack.
Canada made three substitutions in the second half, replacing Jalali, Nanco and Aleman for Wesley Cain (67th minute), Jordan Hamilton (73') and Shadrack Mmunga (87’).
With the win Canada will now compete in its first FIFA U-17 World Cup since Ecuador 1995. Canada will now face the winner of the Jamaica – Honduras quarter-final match which was played immediately following the Canada – Trinidad and Tobago match.