Originally published on CanadaSoccer.com
After a lacklustre first half, Canada came to life in the second to secure a 2:0 win over Venezuela at the 2014 America Cup.
The slow start is understandable considering this was the Team’s second game in as many days. Having, only the day before, tied Argentina 3:3 Canada struggled to get going against a tough Venezuelan opponent.
“It was a scrappy game,” says Head Coach Drew Ferguson. “But it wasn’t just fatigue. We knew we needed a result to advance to the medal rounds and you could tell that our guys were nervous.”
Nevertheless, the team pulled through, advancing to the semi-final. And, at least for now, moving into first place in Group A.
But it wasn’t easy, and Canada could easily have fallen behind against Venezuela, if not for a point blank save by goalkeeper Derek Whitson just prior to the half. We needed the break, says Ferguson, “It allowed us to take a breath, get control and remember our game plan.”
The deadlock was finally broken seven minutes into the second half, following an individual effort from midfielder Trevor Stiles. His goal (his fourth of the tournament) came from outside of the 18-yard box. A few minutes later, another midfielder, Samuel Charron, would score Canada’s second.
The Team now gets three days to prepare for its next match. If Canada ends up toping Group A, it will take the field against the second place team in Group B, which, based on current standings, will probably be USA. If it finishes in second it will likely encounter third ranked Brazil.
- Winner group A vs Second Place Group B at 15:00 ET | 12:00 PT
- Winner Group B vs Second place Group A at 17:00 ET | 14:00 PT
All games will be played at the University of Toronto Pan Am Fields. Matches can also be viewed live via OSA’s website.