Combined with the headhunter's blow-by-blow account of the affair, and a few other reports, I've determined that the team gave what, under normal circumstances, would be a credible performance. The first half might have featured an every-hand-to-the-pump defense (as Jason de Vos might call it), and some sharp goalkeeping for Hirschfeld, but that is the way Canada needs to play against Mexico if we want to steal a result. And Hirschfeld made some believe that he might just do it on his own.
Also of note:
- Iain Hume might have redeemed himself somewhat after a dismal performance against Honduras.
- Gerba just seems to score. This goal is his first against a big time team. At the same time, I am beginning to fall out of love with Rob Friend. Maybe he isn't used properly in the Canada squad, but he doesn't bring the same strike rate that he does in the Bundesliga.
- Hirschfeld is the man. Of the highlights I saw, there a couple of saves that I can't imagine Onstad getting to.
Canada has a tough battle ahead as it remains in third place with one point in its CONCACAF group after three matches. Canada will likely need three-straight wins, if not a pair of wins and some bad luck to Honduras, if it wishes to advance beyond CONCACAF Stage III in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Qualifiers.The attempt to find the silver lining in the second paragraph is pretty half-hearted.
It will be a long month ahead for Canada before its next match on 11 October in Honduras. This is the third-straight campaign in which Canada has just one point after three games, although this time Canada has bettered its output to three goals against tougher teams (it scored one in 2004 and none in 2000). Still, the goals have not been enough to collect any additional points.
I'm not sure what else there is to say. It's hard to be too critical of the team after a match I didn't see, which could even be considered a decent result.
Here's qualification to date, by the numbers:
|Dwayne De Rosario||5||450||2||2|
|Julian de Guzman||5||407||1||1|
|Marcel de Jong||1||8|
I wasn't sure what to do with Patrice Bernier's misbehaviour from the Honduras match. I listed it as 2 yellows and 1 red, but I'm not sure how that scenario is normally recorded in official statistics. Help me out.
Am I right in assuming that Dwayne De Rosario and Adrian Serioux will also be missing Canada's next encounter because they each picked up their second yellow of the qualifying round?