Canada out of Gold Cup

July 19, 2009 at 2:09 am | Posted in General Football | 1 Comment

The more things change, the more they stay the same.   With one golden exception when we won the Gold Cup, poor refereeing seems to follow us in CONCACAF  tournaments.  As Craig Forrest was saying in his excellent commentary, CONCACAF is very tough to play in.   I think that part of the problem is that Canadian players mostly play in Europe, where the style of officiating is different than in the CONCACAF zone.   If the refereeing seems like it is from another continent, it is!    There is also a lot of gamesmanship which is tolerated in CONCACAF which is considered in poor taste and dishonest to Canadian players, but it is a part of the CONCACAF game.  The Honduran team did all that it could to break up Canada’s momentum by rolling all over the pitch in agony after each tackle.   But this is part of the CONCACAF game, and it seems we get hoodwinked by it  again and again.  Perhaps we need to be more like streetfighters in these competitions and give these teams some of their own medicine.

In any event, Canada was let down by a lack of speed and guile in the Honduran defensive third.   Our game was too slow, and one dimensional.  The plan was to get the ball to De Guzman and have him distribute the ball from just over the halfway line.  De Guzman played too deep and too far away from our forward line, who gave him precious little support.   The Honduran back line played well back, so some of our strikers should have dropped off and used the midfield space that was available.  We needed to explore other options rather than just giving De Guzman the ball.  We were playing De Guzman in much the same way as Columbia used to use Valderamma.  The problem with this is that it is a bit too predictable when you do it every single play.

Furthermore, we were too slow in our buildup on the flanks.  We have to get the crosses in faster so that the opposing defence does not get the time to set up.   There were only a few crosses which actually put the Hondurans under real pressure.  One fell to McKenna, who hit the post.   We were a disgrace on our corner kicks, and failed to put in a decent cross on any of them.  I cannot believe that at this level we are not able to curl one in to the danger spots in front of goal.  We had so many corners we should have had one goal from them.

On the positive side Canada played some good football  that showed technical prowess and intelligence.  The problem is with the pace of our game.  Our ball movements were too slow, allowing the Hondurans to adjust quite comfortably.

On to the next tournament…

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