October 30, 2009
By Omar Rawji
On a cold and rainy Thursday night at UBC’s Wright Field, Canada outplayed USA for the most part, but a few defensive breakdowns were difference makers in a 3-2 loss. The frozen crowd was treated to an exciting final 10 minutes. With the game tied 1-1, the Americans scored a field goal in 61st minute to take a 2-1 lead. Canada had an immediate reply, however, as they quickly pushed the ball downfield.
“We pretty much came straight down the field. Benny (Ben Martin) made a couple of nice moves on the right and played it into the circle. Philly (Philip Wright) just touched it on. I was just cruising around the goalie and just tucked it over him,” said goal-scorer Mark Pearson, whose marker tied the game at 2-2.
In the 67th minute, Gabbar Singh made a quick run down the right side, crossing the ball in towards Wright who just missed the ball for the go ahead goal. A moment later, a strong effort from Ranjeev Deol drew Canada’s fourth penalty corner chance, but Canada failed to score. Then, in the 68th minute of the match, a strong challenge from Canadian goalkeeper Antoni Kindler would result in the first of three penalty corners. The first two were blocked, but on the third try, the American’s took what looked like an option play down to their captain Sean Harris, who out-waited Kindler and shot the ball over him for the win.
Head Coach Alan Brahmst felt his team deserved a better outcome: “We had the majority of the possession, and we generated the majority of the opportunities on the attack. But we gave up silly counters and we didn’t control the counter game at all, and partially, in defense, we were dreaming. These games can go that way and sometimes you end up on the short end of the stick.”
Two Canadians played their first international matches, and both Stephen Bissett and Antoni Kindler were excited to have done so in front of a home crowd. Being the goalie, Kindler played a large role in the match, and he said afterwards that once the early game nerves passed, he felt his confidence grow. The final minute loss wasn’t quite the perfect debut he had hoped for, unfortunately.
With the four game series tied at one game apiece, the world 11th ranked Canadian National Team will be looking to send a message over the 19th ranked Americans on Saturday, and as long as they can cut down the errors, they should be able to do so. Match time is 12:30 p.m. at Wright Field.
22’ – USA Ginolfi, Jon (FG) 1-0 USA
32’ – CAN Fernandes, Wayne (PC) 1-1
61’ – USA Schilling, Robert (FG) 2-1 USA
61’ – CAN Pearson, Mark (FG) 2-2
70’ – USA Harris, Sean (PC) 3-2 USA
Penalty Corners: CAN 4 – USA 5