Canada falls in Para Soccer Quarterfinals

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    Canada were eliminated in the Quarterfinals of the 2016 IFCPF Qualification Tournament in Vejen, Denmark after losing 2-3 on kicks from the penalty mark. Canada drew 1:1 with Venezuela in the 3 August match, but were then eliminated by their South American foes beyond extra time.

    Canada will next face Northern Ireland on 4 August in the relegation round to determine 5th to 8th place, with Australia facing Japan in the other match in this section of the competition. Canada will kick off at 13.30 local /07.30 ET / 04.30 PT. The final ranking matches will be played on 6 August, with Venezuela, Scotland, Iran, and Portugal in a fight for the medals.

    “We’ve come to this tournament and hit our major goals – to qualify for Argentina and to win the group,” said Drew Ferguson, Canada Soccer’s National Para Soccer Team Head Coach. “We’re a little disappointed and pretty gutted after this loss.”

    Canada’s captain Samuel Charron opened the scoring in the seventh minute, his 11th goal in just four matches at Vejen 2016. Canada’s young side, however, committed a “mental error” in letting Venezuela equalise, with José Quintana scoring the goal in the 20th minute.

    Into extra time, Canada were reduced from seven to six men after Nicholas Heffernan was cautioned for the second time in the match. Despite the disadvantage, Canada still press forward in search of a winner, with Liam Stanley hitting the crossbar and Venezuela’s Frank Pineda stopping another Canada chance deep into the final frame.

    On kicks from the penalty mark, Canada’s first shot was saved, the next two went in, but then the fourth hit the post and the last was saved by Pineda. Against Venezuela, Damien Wojtiw saved twice, but conceded three times.

    From 13 nations at Vejen 2016 in Denmark, the top eight have qualified for next year’s 16-nation IFCPF World Championships in Argentina (with eight nations previously qualified in 2015).

    Canada’s Para Soccer Team competes in several global competitions over a four-year cycle, including the International Federation of CP Football’s biennial World Championships. Canada also strives to compete in the America’s Cup, the Parapanamerican Games, and the Paralympic Games.

    In past editions of the IFCPF World Championships, Canada finished 10th in 2015, 12th in 2011, 9th in 2009, 12th in 2007, and 11th in 2005. The next edition takes place in 2017, with the qualification tournament in July-August 2016 in Vejen, Denmark.

    Canada’s Para Soccer Team is made up of athletes who have cerebral palsy or have had a stroke or brain injury.

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