Canada Versus St. Lucia: An Interesting Start (Part 1)
by, 09-02-2011 at 11:58 PM (445 Views)
It could have been a disaster. At half time it looked like things could get off to a very, very bad start for Canada. But after De Guzman, Simpson and then Johnson potted goals everything was fine. From the start it was clear that Canada was by far the better team. Even after the match was tied moments after Simpson's opener it seemed like Canada would indeed get out of this game with full point undoubtedly.
Then came a very, very long time which demonstrated the worry of the crowd at half time. Canada just could not finish as they saw countless chances miss the net. Jackson was certainly not on his best finishing form tonight and neither was Dwayne De Rosario, making his first appearance at BMO Field since leaving it for New York earlier this year.
When Canada resumed at the half they once again took a dominating hold over the game in terms of possession. But once again they could not find the back of the net. This was becoming more and more worrying. You could see it on the faces of just about everyone in the stands.
Relief was provided, however, when Dwayne De Rosario was given a chance from the Penalty spot. The man had scored 2 goals from the spot during the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier in the year and made it his third of the year when he potted another well taken effort from the spot.
Josh Simpson, who was pretty good on the night, then potted an excellent goal. The goal came off a ball from Hutchison that was about as perfectly placed as Simpson could have asked for. It was good to see these players hooking up, as they will be relied upon a lot in the upcoming matches.
Will Johnson finished off the night with an excellent tally set up expertly by Simeon Jackson. All Johnson had to do was finish to give Canada a 4-1 lead and just about a guaranteed victory at that point.
That is of course just one story of the match. Behind the scenes a lot more than this went on.
A lot, as usual, can be said about the refereeing. The diving and injury faking during this game was dismal as well. But really we don't need to talk about either of these things as they are only to be expected in CONCACAF. It was still none the less appalling and had to be mentioned as a footnote in this article.
Another thing that has to be mentioned is the crowd. Tonight it was a truly beautiful experience as 11,500 turned up to watch Canada proudly defeat their Caribbean counterparts. But among those 11,500 were about 100 St Lucian fans. This was incredible.
The devotion it would take to watch this match for these 100 fans was incredible. Especially when you consider the population of that country. When you look at it about 0.005% of the population of Saint Lucia was in that very stadium tonight. Most of them across from the Voyageurs supporters section.
They have a country of about 170,000 and yet they can still manage to bring 100 or more fans to a distant country to watch their match. Canada could learn something from these very dedicated fans.
This is taking nothing away from the fans who were actually at the stadium. They provided an incredible atmosphere that was clearly an inspiration to the players on the pitch. I never expected so many to turn out.
But, on the other hand if you were wondering about the percentage of Canadians who were in the stands it was 0.0003%, far away from the Saint Lucian numbers. But, on the other hand it was a home game and, should we have nearly sold out the stadium we could have had 0.0006% of our total population out to the match. So we couldn't have caught the Lucians even if we sold the place out.
I know the population percentages are ridiculous, but they are just for fun. But the fact that Saint Lucia had a higher percentage of their population out to the match than we did is slightly worrying. This is because they have to travel around 3700 km to get to the game. Most Canadians would have had to travel under 50 km.
If you are wondering the distance between Victoria and Toronto is 2072 km. So you get a picture of just how far these Saint Lucian fans had to travel, assuming of course that they did not all live in Toronto.
I honestly have fears for when Puerto Rico rolls around as they have a population of 2.5 million and are marginally closer to Canada at 3063 km. Their is also a fairly large Puerto Rico population in Canada.
If the Saint Lucia game tells us anything about the Puerto Rico game about 12,500 fans will show up for the game, eclipsing the total number at tonight's game. This doesn't even factor in the Puerto Rican population in Canada. While their is no official numbers on this I have to assume that about another 1,000 people can be calculated on to that 12,500 if you also factor in the shorter distance.
So BMO could once again be taken over by the opposition come next match. But, for one night it was refreshing to see the opposite happen. Even if it was against a Caribbean side with a population of about 170,000.
[B]Tommorow in Part 2 we will break down in depth each of the Canadian players and how the performed and what changes should be made to the lineup before Canada's next match.[/B]