Canada ties Brazil, will play in quarters


Michel Belanger

July 10, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – The Canadian men’s soccer team reached the quarter-finals at the Summer Universiade for the second time in program history thanks to a 1-1 draw against Brazil at Olymp Stadium, Wednesday night.

The red and white concludes the preliminary round in second place in Pool D and will now face the host side of Russia. The match is set for Friday at 8 p.m. local time (noon ET) at Rubin Stadium. 

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Canada, France and Brazil all ended pool play with one win and two ties, all victories coming at the expense of Peru. On goal differential, the French earned top spot in the group standings, while the powerful Brazilians had to settle for third place and are relegated to the consolation side of the draw.

“We knew we needed a point tonight to advance,” said head coach Pat Raimondo from University of Montreal. “Despite the fact we were trailing, the guys never panicked. They respected the game plan and were able to come back and tie it.”

Brazil opened the scoring in the 38th minute on a goal by Jefersom Berger.

Goalkeeper Sotiri Varlokostas then made a number of key saves to good his team in the match. The York University student had to be sharp all night as the South Americans had the advantage in shots towards net, with 22 to nine, as well as shots on net, eight to four.

His teammates thanked him in the 59th minute. For the second time in the tournament, captain Robbie Murphy of Ottawa (Guelph) was called to take a penalty and he wasn’t about to waste such a glorious opportunity.

Canada’s only previous appearance in the medal round in men’s soccer was in 2007, in Bangkok, Thailand. That team was also led by Raimondo and finished fourth, dropping a heartbreaking decision on PKs in the bronze medal match.

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Brazil