The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team is off to a hot start in its four game Under-21 series against the United States. The Canadians won their second straight with a 5-1 win Wednesday night at Rutledge Field in West Vancouver.
Two goals from Brandon Pereira led the way, in a performance that was polished from start to finish.
The first chances of the match came early as Canada’s Josh Brown had a chance to give Canada the lead but was stopped by American keeper Nathanial O’Lari. Shortly after Brown’s miss, Canada was awarded a penalty corner but Brandon Pereira, who was wearing the captain’s armband, missed wide right.
After Pereira’s attempt, Canada cotinued to press but O’Lari – who played the full sixty minutes – stood tall and the first quarter came to an end without any goals.
The early chances, however, were a tell tale sign of what was to come for Canada and in the second quarter, the home side broke though.
Rohan Chopra had an early chance that was stopped by O’Lari, but on an ensuing penalty corner, Pereira lined up again for the dragflick and this time converted to give the Canadians the 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later, Pereira found himself in the same position and delivered once again on a dragflick for the 2-0 lead.
The U.S. tried to fight back after the quick goals from Pereira and earned three successive corners for their efforts. It was on the third corner that Casey Walker was able to beat Lyndon Lemos with a flick of his own to cut the lead in half.
But before the half was done, Canada had a penalty corner and this time they opted for a set play which saw Josh Brown score from point blank range after a pass from Balraj Panesar.
Despite the 3-1 lead at half, Canada continued its offensive press and came out firing in the second half.
Some quick chances were turned away by O’Lari, but Panesar was able to smack a hard hit home for Canada’s fourth goal. His goal was quickly followed by a tally from Amrit Sidhu, his first of the match and third of the series, for the 5-1 lead.
Liam Manning played the second half in goal for Canada and did not surrender a goal.
The two teams will shift back to Surrey for the remaining two games, which take place Friday and Saturday at 10:00am PST at Tamanawis Field.