Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blogcast delayed: Canada - Jamaica thoughts

Sportsnet delayed its broadcast of the match by several hours on most parts of the country, which makes me feel better about delaying my blogcast of the Canada – Jamaica qualifier by a few days. I've been off line for a week, and managed to track down a couple of download links without spoiling everything by seeing the result, so my analysis here is a genuine minute-by-minute reaction.

I'm writing this all out in a word processor, rather than the Blogger interface, because I don't want to come across any posts that will compromise my virginal eyes by hinting at the score or result.

Of course, the time elapsed means I have a little less urgency. Please refer to the official version, thanks to our part-time correspondent.

Before they kick off, one of my questions is answered: despite being a Bundesliga starter, Daniel Imhof isn't a starter for Dale Mitchell, indicating to me that Mitchell wants to field an offensive lineup.

The team: Onstad, Klukowksi, Hastings, Serioux, Stalteri, De Guzman, Radzinski, Hutchinson, De Rosario, Bernier, Friend.

I like the central pairing, and having Nakajima-Farran on the bench. Scratch that; Gerry informs me that Issey is injured. Good vocal support from the home fans so far.

5th: Rob Friend looks like he'll be able to have his way with the Jamaican central defenders. Not much doing so far, though.

8th: Friend has the first shot of the game, but it is far from dangerous. Bernier shoulders Ricardo Gardner to the deck and no foul is called. Good start from the officials.

10th: Julian de Guzman seems to be playing alone in front of the back four. It seems a bit of a waste of our best player, when Imhof is serviceable and would allow Julian to push forward into a more prominent role.

Radzinski fires well over from way out after some nice combination play involving Julian and De Rosario. Jamaica have shorter shorts than I had expected to see.

Nearly an own goal after De Rosario was fouled and flighted in a long-ish free kick. That would have been a dream start.

15th: De Guzman is fouled after weaving through four Jamaicans, and I feel the beginning of a chubby. As often as I disagree with Gerry Dobson, he is right on when he suggests that Julian could be the best midfielder in CONCACAF.

18th: Hutchinson had a long shot that looked dangerous until it hit a defender. The rebound nearly fell for Radzinski. Canada looks good, Jamaica doesn't, but I won't be comfortable until Canada puts a few in the net.

20th: Jamaica get some pressure for the first time, but the final shot sails wide. Nervous times.

24th: Dwayne De Rosario gets booked, and deserves it. He has to be smarter.

Hairstyles update: De Ro and Julian are both rocking the corn rows. I like de Guzman better with the 'fro, but who asked me? Most importantly, Klukowski is still kicking it with the euro-mullet.

30th: Canada has a foray into the box after a sweet juke by Klukowski. The heart only grows fonder.

Play is more even now, and Jamaica just had have a chance go wide.

40th: Even though I have the ability to pause, this match is thoroughly engrossing and far from comfortable. Watching Canada in a friendly or against St. Vincent is much easier on the ol' ticker. Onstad unleashes an F-bomb after a mediocre goal kick. Awesome.

Friend is called for a foul in the box, probably undeserved. Bernier hit the tantalizing cross. Of Canada's starters, I'd consider Bernier to be the most marginal selection, but he looks good.

45th: Radzinski gets fouled in the offensive third, and it's a booking as well for Jamaica. There could be no better time than to pop the opening goal. De Rosario hits it onto the top netting – so close.

Half time: You could say that nothing much happened, but I still may need to check my shorts. There have been no glaring mistakes from Canada, but they haven't been sharp enough yet. Jamaica don't look all that dangerous either, but all it takes is one mistake . . .

46th: I downloaded the second half file from a different source, and the quality is pretty shitty. Still, I think I'll watch it rather than sitting through a painful three hour download session.

WTF?!?!?! I don't think I can play the video quality: Sportsnet was asleep at the switch and were showing Canada's defenders while de Guzman scores!!! Boner or no boner? So confused.

I just saw the replay – high cross from the right by De Ro, Radzinski lays it back nicely with the side of his head and Julian slots it home. Verdict: boner!


I mentioned earlier how I was disappointed to see de Guzman in such a withdrawn role. Since that point, I've noticed Hutchinson dropping back just as often, giving de Guzman the freedom to go forward, and it paid off handsomely with the goal.

The next 40 minutes are going to be agonizing.

52nd: Son of a bitch! Onstad flaps at the corner and it goes in. Williams, who took the kick, is the scorer. Brutal.


I got sidetracked, but watched the whole game. It was a draw, 1-1, which is a terrible result for Canada.

I don't want to talk about it.

On a brighter note, Kyle's masterful live account of Wednesday's action was by far the busiest this blog has ever been. I should go away more often. I also must applaud his beer selection: when I lived in Holland, Bavaria was always a tasty, yet affordable (relative to the Amstels and Heinekens of the world). It's not available on the shelves in my neck of the woods very often.

I personally will be drowning my sorrows in the beer pictured below:

Never again.

Or maybe I should just pour it all down the toilet, as purchasing a Trini beer clearly cursed Canada.


Headhunting Canuck said...


You really need to come to Ontario, it's always on the shelves in the local liquor store, and I can't help buying it nowadays. For some reason I find it more refreshing then the Heinekens and Grolsch's that I used to drink.

Nice to see you back. I apologize if your blog may have offended some Jamaican fans... last time I do a google picture search for miss Jamaica, not my fault it was a bad picture I got to work with. How was the vacation anyways, I suppose being in the wilderness you had to watch out for the bear and moose, or was it not that wild?

J said...

Grolsch is still a pretty excellent brew, while the Heineken that is exported gives Dutch beer a bad name. I don't even think it's the same stuff they sell to real Nederlanders.

The 'wilderness' wasn't so wild. Without giving out too much information, it was a quite controlled outdoor environment, with children. I was working. The most 'wild' wilderness experience was seeing a couple of deer while riding a horse.

Any Jamaican fans you have offended are simply another feather in your cap. We aim to please here, but we don't aim to please Jamaicans. Or Hondurans. Or Mexicans. Or Guat referees.