Their fate is still in their own hands but there’s no margin for error left after a late goal left them on the wrong side of a 3:2 result with El Salvador on Thursday.
With two games remaining in this grueling series of five games in 13 days, Canada is just about a must-win situation with games against Cuba and Honduras still at hand.
Canada showed plenty of pluck after coming back twice from going behind and it’s that kind of spirit that the team will need in their final 180 minutes of soccer in the group stage.
“We haven’t become a bad team overnight here,” said Head Coach Rob Gale after praising his team’s spirit to come back twice in uncomfortably hot conditions. “We want to respond and rebuild and build momentum. We need to regroup a little bit now to do that and go forward. We’ve got two very difficult opponents that will be very similar and used to these kinds of conditions so we will respond in the right way and make sure we get it right in the next game.”
After a first half where Canada didn’t muster much and went down, they roared to life with Hanson Boakai scoring a few minutes in after coming off the bench and Canada looked like they were very much in the ascendancy.
But a wonderful strike from Jose Villaciencio restored the El Salvador advantage and Canada was chasing again but it didn’t take long for Kianz Froese to bring Canada back level.
This time, Canada has until Monday to regroup and there’s no question they’ll come out fired up against Cuba.
“At halftime we made a tactical change and looked to occupy spaces higher up the field and move the ball better as we’d planned from the start. Once we started to do that we created opportunities. It was a great goal from (Boakai),” said Gale.
After Monday’s game, Canada wraps up play in Group B on Thursday 22 January against Honduras.