In two games thus far at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, Canada’s Men’s U-17 has found themselves trailing on three separate occasions but each time they’ve fought back and now have won both of those games.
Canada has shown resilience and character each time and have been full value to be tied for first place in Group B in this competition with Mexico after Tuesday’s 3:2 win over Costa Rica at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, HON.
“It’s certainly not the coach’s plan (to go behind). It’s football,” said Head Coach Sean Fleming. “Things happen like that and I think that, in youth football especially, mistakes are made. I’ve been watching some of the other games and it these things happen. How you respond to things is very important and we try to emphasize that with our players at all times.”
What’s been most impressive through the first 180 minutes that Canada’s played here is that just about anyone looks set to step up and contribute.
Canada has scored six goals in two games and they’ve come from five different scorers. On Tuesday night, it was Kosovar Sadiki scoring the winner off a Harry Paton corner kick.
Paton was setting up teammates all-night long, and with Sadiki already standing a head taller than most of their opponents, it was really no surprise that the big defender dominated the decisive corner kick that gave Canada the victory.
“I’ve told our team that we’re a team of 20 here,” said Fleming. With this type of format we know how grueling it’s going to be. I give great credit to the kids that I’m happy that all our subs have come on and made an impact. (Sadiki) scored the goal but he did some great defensive work late in the game.”
Up next is that all-important match against Mexico on Friday. Mexico also have six points but with a better goal differential and is the force at this level as their teams are unbeaten in 20-straight games at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
If Canada can muster a result in what will be a very difficult task, the dream of reaching a third-consecutive FIFA U-17 World Cup will be very much alive.