I'm planning on another live blog again, providing the feed pans out. All the games have been available so far here, and I'm hopeful again for tonight's match with Haiti. Bookmark this post if you're interested in checking back in during game time.
I should mention that the game starts at 20:30 eastern. Do the math for your own time zone (22:00 for Newfies, as I know math and book-learnin' aren't among their strong points).
T minus 30 minutes: Heading to pick up some beer. Anticipation is running high. Interesting factoid: when looking for a picture from the Mexico match, I ran across the third different spelling I've seen of Ornoch's first name. The list consists of Andrew (anglicized, obviously), Andrzej (or something like it) and Andrazes. I've also seen Dejan Jakovic listed as Dan Jakovic a few times in the last few days.
T minus 18 minutes: Back with beer. I know it's all about Canada tonight, but I had a hankerin' for some imports. The choices: 710 ml of Heineken, an alright beer, but a choice filled with nostalgia about the year I lived there (and perhaps support of the Dutch contingent on the U-23 squad which includes Jacob Lensky, Will Johnson, Graham Ramalho and Marcus Haber), and 500 ml of Holsten Festbock. I think the LC was clearing out the stock of that beer from Christmas as it was on sale. In any case, as I often do on Fridays, I invoked the "most fuck for your buck" rule: at $1.93 for 500 ml and 7.0% alc., the Festbock was the clear winner. I looked for, but did not find, any Haitian beers. Depending on how the match goes, I may need all of this beer in the next 2 hours.
By the by, the feed appears to be working. Right now there's a story on the Cuban players that defected. How ironic it would be if USA's 1-1 draw with the full-strength side came back to bite them in the ass. Or maybe it isn't ironic, I'm not sure. I haven't listened to Alanis lately.
The CSA fixture page should list the starting lineups shortly.
T minus a few: Caught these numbers as they panned across: 14, 13, 12, 15, 16, 7, 3, 4, 1, 5. I missed one, but those players are Rosenlund, Kambere, Hall, Hemming, Ayre, Ornoch, Lensky, Jakovic, Wagenaar and Hainault. I'm assuming the other one is Ledgerwood, keeping the same back line as Wednesday.
0:00: We're underway. I hope it's a good one.
2:00: Haiti with an early chance from a corner. One of the keys to the game for Canada is "Explotar la tactica fija". We'll look that one up in a bit.
5:00: Yikes! A dangerous chance for Haiti, and Wagenaar rushes out and grabs the ball from the striker's feet. In Josh we trust. Also, I like the Haiti shirt. Reminds me of a 1980s windbreaker.
8:00: The ball just sat there for a few moments in the Haiti box off a free kick. Kambere earned the free kick with some nice combination work with Lensky.
11:00: Canada is starting to control the midfield after a couple of early scares. Nothing too dangerous in the way of chances, though. Haiti's best chances look likely to come on look balls played down the wing. Hainault is defending well, again. He's helping his cause come WCQ time.
14:00: Good Lord! A breakaway for Kyle Hall and he gets too close and ends up missing the net. It was a great ball from Rosenlund that beat the offside trap.
16:00: Goal Canada! Tyler Rosenlund finishes, after a great run by Hall down the right side to the end line, that followed from a nice piece of work from Ornoch. Lovely goal! I'm not sure if it's chilled yet, but it is time to crack a beer.
21:00: Haiti's physical forwards are causing problems, though Canada seems to recover by defending in numbers. Kyle Hall reminds me of a cross between Jaime Peters and Atiba Hutchinson. Lets hope is career arc mirrors the latter, not the former.
25:00: The feed is starting to get choppy. Time to say a quick prayer. We're in the dark right now, so expect a hiatus on updates.
30:00: Crisis averted -- the video is back! Haiti has perked up since the Canadian goal, and I certainly won't feel comfortable until we score at least one more. Kyle Hall is causing no end of trouble on the right side, and nearly beat the offside trap a few more times.
34:00: These announcers know their shit, though I understand little of what they are saying. They mentioned Wagenaar being with ADO Den Haag previously, and the Begovic suspension in the first game.
38:00: Canada gives up a couple of free kicks just a little too far out to be dangerous. At the other end, good link up play ended with a long miss by Hemming (or someone else).
40:00: Another link up between Hall and Ornoch nearly ended in a second Rosenlund goal. The Haiti keeper snatched the ball right before Tyler could put a head to it.
42:00: Canada's midfielders are holding the ball a little too long. Lensky just had it stripped from him, and the play ended with a shot into the side netting.
44:30: Lensky drops the fuck-bomb after missing a shot from another great pass from Rosenlund. Rosenlund looks to have great touch on his mid- to long-range passes.
Half time: Some thoughts:
- Ornoch is a player. He looks powerful, but it's his skill and touch on the ball that impresses. I may be getting ahead of myself here, but he may have played himself into the mix for World Cup Qualifying, especially if Canada's qualifying campaign extends past 2008.
- Canada sagged a fair bit in the second portion of the half. Too much defending. I'm hoping that's not the Mark Watson influence on the staff.
- The two changes from Wednesday's starting lineup, Rosenlund and Hall, have been two of the best players in the game. It might be fresh legs, but they also have been doing great tactical work, especially Rosenlund. Good coaching by Dasovic, too.
- Wagenaar has been forced to do a bit of work and has handled it well. It amazes me that TFC didn't want to sign him.
- People seem to dig this live blog shit. I've got about 4 times my (admittedly piddly) daily traffic in the past two hours. Oh yeah: A warm welcome to my first ever Macedonian visitor! I'm curious, feel free to leave a comment and explain your connection to these proceedings.
I forgot to mention this earlier, but I can't let it pass: There's a Haiti player WEARING GLOVES. In California. I googled the weather there, and it's 15 C. Unless he has some sort of skin condition, that is inexcusable.
Who knew? Action in the comments. For the guy having trouble with the feed, there's another to try this one.
45:00: There's a sub coming out of half time: Rickets on for Lensky. I agreed with bringing out Lensky earlier on Wednesday because he wasn't showing much, but I thought he played well in the first half, barring one bad giveaway.
49:00: It didn't take long for that substitution to pay off (no goals, though). Ricketts earned two straight corners with speedy runs down the flank. I should mention that Hall swapped sides when Ricketts came on, so now Hall is on the left.
54:00: After a Ricketts giveaway, some nice buildup by Haiti ended with another ball into the side netting. Canada really needs a second goal so I can breathe easier.
57:30: A sub for Canada: Ryan Gyaki in for Tyler Hemming. Hemming started brightly but faded out of the game a bit. Gyaki didn't do much Wednesday. Let's hope he shows more tonight.
59:00: For the second game in a row, a shot off the crossbar. Kyle Hall intercepted a pass deep in the Haiti end and Ornoch drilled a shot that the keeper tipped onto the bar.
62:00: Joshua Wagenaar is ALL balls! He just made a great feet first challenge after a series of mistakes my Canada left the Haitian forward 1-on-1. Although the suspension of Begovic for the first match had much to do with it, this decision to play Wagenaar is looking inspired.
64:00: Maybe it's the buzz I've got going, but I think I just understood the announcers say, in Spanish, that Canada is playing with fire (con fuego). If that's what they said, they're right. Spanish by Osmosis: 12 Steps to being a Canadian Soccer Supporter.
While I was typing this, Ornoch got a yellow for rocking some dude. Let's hope Dasovic doesn't panic and bring in Lombardo, who was useless against Mexico.
66:30: Ornoch made a sweet run, bodying two Haitian defenders off the ball, and got to the endline, but his pass was a bit behind Ricketts who couldn't buy enough time to shoot.
69:30: The Mexican fans have been filing in throughout the second half, and judging by the reaction to the calls, they are definitely behind Haiti. Screw 'em.
71:00: Son of a bitch. Haiti scores, after too much dicking around in their own end. I might have missed it, but Haiti might not have done the fair-play thing after Kambere booted it out with Ledgerwood suffering from a nasty Haiti elbow.
74:30: And I quote: "Are you fucking kidding me!" Nick Dasovic, after a possible penalty call was denied. Great man.
76:00: Canada is pressing now, and I don't understand why they didn't play this way the whole game. They clearly are a better team, but sitting back hast cost them.
84:00: SHIT!!! Wagenaar gets lobbed from about 35 yards, and it's 2-1 Haiti. If Canada doesn't manage a tie, their Olympic dream may be over.
90:00: 4 minutes of injury time. It's not looking good ...
91:00: It seems like Lombardo came on at some point while I was having a bit of a cool down session. He just put a shot way over the bar from a Ledgerwood cross.
Full time: Fuck. 2-1 Haiti. Needless to say, I'm pretty disappointed with the way my Friday night has turned our. Here is a list of the things that made me angry:
- Canada completely stepping off the gas after their goal. When they were aggressive and controlled the midfield they were great. But when 8, 9 or 10 men were defending, Haiti began to gain momentum.
- Haiti's poor sportsmanship. I saw it again, and Haiti did not return the ball to Canada after the Ledgerwood injury. I'll replay it for you: Ledgerwood takes a nasty elbow and goes down on the right flank. After a Haiti chance, Canada gains possession. Kambere puts it out, Haiti takes a throw and attacks. And scores. That is bullshit.
- The officials. Maybe it wasn't a penalty on Ornoch, but it seemed there was as much in the tackle as Hainault put on Wednesday against Mexico.
Go buy a kitten or help an old lady cross the street, before you end up punching someone in the face like I am likely to do.