Canada M16 get valuable tournament experience in Mexico

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Photo: Copa Mexico de Naciones

For those not used to it, the experience of being at altitude in Mexico City is tiring in and of itself but Canada’s Men’s U-16 Team not only had to deal with altitude but also had to play three international matches in three days.

Playing in the Copa Mexico de Naciones, Canada’s preparations for next year’s 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship took the next step with three internationals against top opposition.

Unlike usual games, however, these games were played in 70 minutes instead of 90 with two 35-minute halves.

And while Canada went down to three losses to Costa Rica, Korea Republic and Brazil, they picked up some invaluable experience that will carry them ahead into the competitive games that really matter.

Canada opened the competition with a game against fellow CONCACAF team Costa Rica on 2 August but while they managed to do well in possession, they conceded just once and couldn’t find a breakthrough of their own and went down to a 1:0 defeat.

The following day, they again managed to ask questions of the Korean back line but couldn’t find the back of the net and fell 2:0.

Undoubtedly, the team went into the final match with some very tired legs and the task was arguably the toughest of the three games as they took on Brazil. Canada scrapped and managed to stay close to the Brazilians for much of the game. Brazil went in front but Canada hung in until conceding two late goals and lost 3:0.

With Sean Fleming as Head Coach, Canada has qualified for the past two FIFA World Cups at the U-17 level and will try to make it three in a row next March when they play in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

Taking place in San Pedro Sula, HON from 27 February-14 March, Canada will take on the best in the region as they look for the four spots available at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015.

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