Game in a sentence
Under a cloud of political intrigue Canada takes care of business ahead of a gigantic clash in Honduras on Tuesday.
- Obviously this wasn’t a normal game. A question of fairness hung over the proceedings as I’m sure the Hondurans watched this fixture in despair. For Canada, the prematch defection-distractions could’ve been handled one of two ways. The opening moments indicated Stephen Hart’s men would attack, attack and attack some more. For the Cubans, well, what can you say. The 11 players remaining handled themselves well under strange circumstances. Reports indicate the five missing players have crossed the border into the United States. The news comes as twitter rumors speculate Fidel Castro is extremely ill – take that as you will.
- Employing a 4-3-3, Canada’s width was too much for Cuba. David Edgar and Ante Jazic moved up the wings with ease all night. An excellent overlap between Simeon Jackson and Jazic resulted in Tosaint Ricketts fifth goal for Canada in 17 games. The Canadians had a ridiculous amount of chances which they failed to capitalize on including at least six in the first half for Olivier Occean.
- A dominant half produced only one goal. There were moments when it seemed the Canadians took their feet off the accelerator. For me it was hard to overlook how difficult a game it was for Cuba. Kevin McKenna has a future in diplomacy if he wants it.
- 10 corners, over 20 clear chances and only one goal was the product of a lack of communication in the final third. Ricketts, Occean and Jackson struggled to get out of each others way. Credit should also go to Cuban keeper Odelin Molina, who was superb.
- Anyone else get feeling the Canadians felt bad for the Cubans? With a birth in the hexagonal round at stake this was not a time for sympathy. After a slow start in the second half Canada began to turn the screws. Any goodwill between the two sides disappeared after referee Javier Santos sent off Roberto Linares in what was a harsh decision in my books. Will Johnson’s goal in the 72nd minute was marred by Occean’s sending off – the text book definition of a make up call – after a dust up with Molina.
- Edgar connected on a great ball from Jazic to seal the game with a beauty of a goal six minutes later. The former Newcastle man’s side footed strike was the goal of the night and well deserved. Jazic and Edgar were terrific.
Stephen Hart “I thought the fullbacks were excellent tonight.” Completely agree.
— Jason deVos (@jasondevos) October 13, 2012
- When Atiba Hutchinson is the best player on the pitch good things happen for Canada. Fortunately for the Canadians Hutch’s class was apparent throughout.
- Canada heads to Honduras with a plus three goal differential. The Hondurans currently sit at plus two, they will play Panama later tonight. Waking the Red’s Duncan Fletcher has laid out the possible scenarios for Hex qualification. Check it out, it’s fantastic.
- Though patchy at times, Canada did what they needed to do. Hart made the proper adjustments to overcome a valiant Cuban squad. The Occean red card is the low light of this night as another attacking option will be missing on Tuesday.
- Let’s hope the missing members of the Cuban team are alright. I imagine it will be a strange trip home for the rest of the team.
1. David Edgar
2. Atiba Hutchinson
3. Ante Jazic