Canada went out on a winning note at the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship after a 2:0 victory over Antigua & Barbuda. Kris Twardek and Shaan Hundal were the goalscorers in the Thursday win in Costa Rica.
“They showed good professionalism and a good mentality to come out and enjoy football like they can,” said Rob Gale, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National U-20 Coach. “They showed that there are players here that can progress towards the Men’s National Team.”
Canada scored a goal and struck the woodwork twice in each half, ultimately collecting their three points on a 2:0 win in the late afternoon at Estadio Saprissa in Costa Rica. The 23 February win wrapped up the two-year cycle for the 1997-age group. Canada was eliminated on 20 February from a tough group stage.
“I am still proud of this group of boys,” said Gale. “We knew it was going to be a tough draw and that first match would be crucial which is the way it played out.”
Canada opened strong against Honduras, but lost 0:1 on a second-half goal. They were then up against defending champions Mexico in a must-win situation, holding strong for much of the first half before Mexico opened up for five goals.
“It was important to win our final match and it could have been by a much greater score,” said Gale. “It was good to come out dominate technically and show that there is ability and good prospects in this team.”
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 territorial 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.