Canada posted a win and a draw in a pair of away Men’s U-20 International Friendly matches against CONCACAF rivals Honduras. Canada won the first match 2:1 on Saturday, then drew the second match 0:0 two days later on Monday 14 November.
“We were absolutely delighted with the players’ effort and attitude,” said Rob Gale, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National U-20 Coach. “Their application on the whole tour has been first class.”
On Saturday, Canada took a 1-0 lead on a first-half strike by Ballou Tabla, but were then drawn level after a Honduras penalty early in the second half. Kris Twardek, however, scored late in the 2:1 victory.
On Monday, Canada created several chances on a smaller field, but ultimately conceded the best chance on a penalty inside the box. Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair dove left to make the save and keep the series in Canada’s favour.
“The (Monday) game was challenging, but we adjusted and adapted,” said Gale. “We had a couple of great chances early and then gave away a penalty, but Dayne stood tall and amended for the error.”
The two-match international series was part of a 10-day Canadian camp in Houston, USA and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The Saturday match was played in Comayagua while the Monday match was played in Tegucigalpa.
“It was a great experience for the boys and we need to take this forward,” said Gale. “We need to continue to build through these experiences, not just for qualifying in February but also for the big picture the Men’s National Team. That is the reason we bring them to these environments, give them different systems of play, work within our own game model, so that we can continue to build well-rounded players for Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team in the future.”
The 2017 CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship runs 17 February to 5 March in Costa Rica. From 12 CONCACAF nations, the top four will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 from 20 May to 11 June.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.