In any CONCACAF competition, Mexico is usually the gold standard that all other teams aspire to.
On Monday in Montego Bay, Canada managed to hold on for the most part against one of the tournament favourites here at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championships but two separate moments cost them in their 2:0 defeat.
“The difference in the end was the little bit of better quality in the final third to create chances and test our goalkeeper more than we tested them,” said Head Coach Rob Gale.
“So we knew it was going to be down to the little moments and congratulations for them. They got the victory.”
Mexico held onto the ball for long periods of time in the early going as Canada sat quite deep in their own end but despite Mexico’s superiority in many areas, they either couldn’t put away their chances or had Canadian goalkeeper Nolan Wirth standing in their way until they finally jumped in front half and hour in.
It almost looked like Hirving Lozano’s goal gave Canada a wakeup call, as they looked more organized and composed as the first half came to an end and into the second.
Mexico’s second goal from Diego Pineda came as Canada threw numbers forward in search of an equalizer.
Canada wasn’t without their chances and they’ll go into their next game against El Salvador on Thursday knowing they were able to open up one of the tournament favourites. But unlike against Haiti on Saturday, this time Canada couldn’t make the most of their opportunities.
“Once we created some chances and got the ball moving we realized we can play with them and we’re a good team as well,” said captain Luca Gasparotto. “We’re disappointed with the result but all the boys heads are up and we’re focused on the next game and it’s still early days and anything can happen.”
Canada still has three games before Group B play is all said and done. As mentioned above they take on El Salvador on Thursday 15 January before wrapping up group play against Cuba (19 January) and Honduras (22 January).
Other post-match interviews