Although 13th-ranked Uruguay is sandwiched between Mexico and the United States in the world rankings, there was a different feel about Canada’s latest World Cup tune-up game. The result, a 2-0 loss for the Canadians, was not what people were hoping for. Upsetting Uruguay would have been something special, but it serves as a reminder that Canada is not yet a football giant. But there’s no reason to panic, this was to be expected.
The Uruguayans started early, getting a goal in the sixth minute courtesy of Nicolás de la Cruz, before scoring once again in the 33rd minute, this time from Darwin Núñez. Certainly, there’s no shame in concerning a goal against a top team, and a player who plays his club career with Liverpool in the English Premier League, as Núñez does.
In many statistical categories, however, Canada got the better of Uruguay. Les Rouges out-shot Uruguay 11-5 (3-2 for Canada in shots on target), had the ball 56 percent of the time, and won seven corners compared to Uruguay’s none. Still, they couldn’t find the back of the goal, leaving them wanting more.
“Disappointed. I just spoke with the lads … (I) let them know that when you have that type of opportunity in a game, you got to take the chances, you got to win football matches and there’s not going to be any special award for losing games where you have a chance to win them,” head coach John Herdman said post-match.
“You lose games like that, you’re going to drop out of the World Cup pretty quickly and go home. I’m happy with elements of the performance, don’t get us wrong. We’re a real team and we’ve got to take those moments.”
Up The North! HFX midfielder, Aidan Daniels – FC13 Podcast
Of course, the loss is going to sting, for both the players on the pitch, and the fans in the stands who are dreaming of big results in Qatar for the World Cup this winter. Thankfully, a loss in a friendly doesn’t impact much, but it was still important. The Canadians can’t write this match off as useless, they need to learn from it, and apply what they learned promptly. They will need that when they take on world-ranked number two Belgium, and number 15 Croatia at the World Cup.
“It’s another level. You can’t switch off the whole game. I just felt like it was two moments that cost us the game but throughout the game, I thought we were brilliant,” Kamal Miller said. “Second half, I felt like we dominated, kept them out of our box. It’s just those critical moments that are going to win or lose you critical football matches.”
The Canadians are back on the pitch on November 17th, when they take on Japan in their final tune-up for the World Cup.
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