Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Odds & ends: Estonia and Guatemala

The U23 Olympic Qualifying tournament wrapped up on Sunday, and Canada's 3rd place match with Guatemala escaped my attention almost entirely. I intended to check out at least a few minutes of the action, but I had the time of the match wrong. Canada, with what amounted to a B lineup (Wagenaar, Hainault, Johnson, Ornoch didn't start, for example), ended up winning on penalties following a 0-0 draw. (Honduras beat USA in the first place match but, really, who cares?)

Even though the result of the tournament was disappointing, it was great to have a week and a half of intense action to follow. And long-suffering fans need not wait too much longer to watch Canadians in action: Wednesday's friendly with Estonia is still on the menu. I've already raved about the lineup that Mitchell has called together for this match, but there's something else I'm excited about: live coverage of the match on CBC.
Another Estonian team
OK, it's not CBC TV, just a web stream, but since I'll be at work that's even better. It gets underway at noon ET, so a long and unproductive lunch break may be in order.

The weather in Tallinn is apparently pretty ugly right now (by European standards) which may suit some of the Canadian lads just fine, but hopefully doesn't affect the quality of the pitch or the match too much.

Some players may be a bit tired, particularly Andre Hainault, who put in his time with the U23 squad then flew to Europe to catch up with the national team, and Rob Friend, who played 90 minutes on Monday. Hainault may be good to go, but I don't see Friend getting more than 45 minutes on Wednesday.

Prediction: Canada 3 - 1 Estonia (De Rosario, Gerba, Hutchinson)

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