Monday, June 01, 2009


So this is what winning is like. For members of Canada's national team, the last time they had won a match was almost a year ago, in a pair of laughers against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

We probably shouldn't try to read too much into Canada's 1-0 victory against Cyprus on Saturday, but there are some significant elements in the match:
  • The win was Canada's first over a country that isn't a tiny Caribbean island nation since Guatemala (3-0) at the 2007 Gold Cup, and also the first clean sheet kept against a top-100 side over the same interval.
  • Interim coach Stephen Hart won in his first match back.
  • It is the first win over European competition since a 2-0 victory against Austria in March 2006.
  • While the CSA match report lists Richard Hastings a the man of the match, this match also marked the international debuts of youngsters Eddy Sidra, Tyler Hemming, goal-scorer Simeon Jackson, and not-so-young Dominic Imhof.
Canada's lineup

Lars Hirschfeld

Eddy Sidra - Adrian Cann - Kevin McKenna - Richard Hastings

Jaime Peters (Dominic Imhof 89) - Nik Ledgerwood - Julian de Guzman - Issey Nakajima-Farran (Tyler Hemming 68)

Josh Simpson (Chris Pozniak 83) - Simeon Jackson (Andrzej Ornoch 81)


There is no video from Cyprus. Here's a video from Cypress Hill.

Combing the Google News (Canada) articles on the match yielded only a single photo. However, some patient hunting through a number of Cypriot newspapers yielded two more. Canada appears to have been wearing black armbands for the match:

Old hands McKenna and Hastings.

Jaime Peters battling for the ball.

Jaime Peters battling again.

What else can we say about a match that nobody saw? It is probably significant that Simeon Jackson scored on his debut. He's had quite the month, scoring at Wembley to win promotion for his Gillingham side, then this goal a week later.

Of the young players that featured in this match, Jackson probably will be an important part of the near future for the national team. Sidra also was awarded the start at right back (Paul Stalteri must have been injured) so maybe Stephen Hart knows something about him that we don't. I also have high hopes for Ornoch, but he needs to be playing somewhere better than the Danish reserve league.

Next Canada match is a (closed doors?) friendly against Guatemala at the end of June, which will come at the end of Canada's preparation for July's Gold Cup.

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