Canada will face Japan in their final ranking match after a 2:3 a.e.t. loss to Northern Ireland at the 2016 IFCPF Qualification Tournament. Canada twice held the lead against Northern Ireland, but conceded the winning goal late in extra time of the 4 August match at the Vejen Idrætscenter in Vejen, Denmark.
Canada will face Japan on Saturday 6 August to determine 7th and 8th place with a 09.30 local / 03.30 ET / 00.30 PT kick off. On the same day, Australia will face Northern Ireland for 5th or 6th place, Portugal will face Venezuela for 3rd or 4th place, and Iran will face Scotland for 1st or 2nd place.
“The boys are just shattered after two games in a row that we didn’t come through after extra time,” said Drew Ferguson, Canada Soccer’s National Para Soccer Team Head Coach. “Their goalkeeper made six or seven spectacular saves and we also hit the crossbar in extra time.”
Canada’s captain Samuel Charron scored two more goals as he increased his tournament total to 13 goals in five matches (in just seven days). He now has 25 career goals and 11 assists in 30 international matches. Only Trevor Stiles (injured and not in Denmark) has more career goals than Charron (29 goals).
Canada is still without Jamie Ackinclose (21 career goals), injured in the opening match against Denmark. Dustin Hodgson, meanwhile, was again limited in his playing time as he returns from a 2015 injury.
“We started five teenagers, so we had a lot of young guys and we wanted to give some guys playing time,” said Ferguson.
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.