Tuesday, September 27, 2022

analysis | Uruguay teaches Canada the reality of the World Cup CBC Sports

Because football is low-scoring, it is a sport in which subtle differences matter, and better teams often prevail because of small but consistent gains in speed, pace, technique.

Best win inch by inch, touch by touch.

The Canadian men are in an incredible race to qualify for their first World Cup in 36 years, but that success will see them match against the toughest teams on earth in November.

Tuesday’s friendly in Bratislava against Uruguay, 13th by FIFA’s measure, was the rare reward that takes the form of an awakening, a welcome that doubles as a rejection.

“That’s what Canada has learned,” head coach John Harderman said after the 2-0 loss. “You’re not going to get the gift. You have to earn it.”

look | CBC Sports’ Chris Jones reacts to Canada’s WC friendship pairing:

Excerpts from Canada’s friendship against Qatar, Uruguay

Senior contributor Chris Jones joins CBC Sports’ Anastasia Buxis to get his feedback on CanMNT’s friendship against Qatar and Uruguay.

Uruguay scored in the sixth minute from a top-corner free kick from Nicolas de la Cruz, and the result was never really for the Canadians again. At 43, he showed resolve and had an admirable share of the ball. It was just that the people of Uruguay knew so much better what to do with it.

“I think we controlled the game,” said midfielder Stephen Eustacio. “Just the quality that stands out.”

Uruguay’s brilliance and grace

It’s been over a decade since Canada played a team with the talent and grace of Uruguay. For longtime Canadian soccer fans, watching the game was surreal; It must have been supernatural to play. Alistair Johnson, who was only starting in Ligue 1 Ontario three years ago, marked himself as Uruguay’s Darwin Nez, who cost Liverpool €100 million in June.

Johnston has been excellent throughout qualifying, but when Nez hit home for Uruguay’s second goal in the 33rd minute, the differences in level and height were clearly evident. Dreams are dreams. Reality remains reality.

look | Canada men fail to convert chances to World Cup tune:

Uruguay knocks out Canada in last friendly before World Cup

Luis Su├írez set up Darwin Nez’s header for an insurance goal as Uruguay defeated Canada 2–0 in their second-last friendly match before the start of the FIFA World Cup in November.

Canada made its international debut after beating World Cup hosts Qatar 2-0 last week. (It was, in some ways, like the Uruguay match but Canada’s role reversed.) Despite the victory – the kind of victory “New Canada” should regularly see – the game exposed flaws that Harderman only attempted. can hide.

For example, Milan Borjan has been a sensation in Canada’s goal but his delivery does not match his shot-stopping. Looking at him, it seems that someone laughing is coming. Opponents will put enormous pressure on him when he has the ball at his feet, and his teammates will have to work to make sure he has easy outlets.

Finishing is also a major concern. Football is a game of limited opportunities, and successful teams make the most of them. Canadians are still less-than-clinical with their set pieces and the inside of the box.

“Where you have a chance to win them, there’s not going to be a special prize for losing them,” Harderman said.

In the dwindling minutes of Qatar’s game, Kamal Miller had the gift of a rebound that he closed the crossbar and made it out over the net from four yards. In a close or more important match, this is one mistake that can haunt you forever.

missed chances

Against Uruguay, the missed chances, especially on the dozens of unmet crosses, were Legion.

Now, after a final friendly against Japan on 17 November, Belgium, Croatia and Morocco await. The nerves of the World Cup won’t make things any easier for the Canadian men. Harderman has been careful, if a little conspicuously, trying to ease the pressure they may be feeling, talking about how his team will be the underdog in every game.

He emphasized on experience over results, development over achievement.

“I think there will be a lot to learn,” Hardemann said before the Uruguay game. “It’s been about building.”

look | Canada knocks out Qatar in World Cup friendly

Sil Larin scores winner in Canada’s friendly win over FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar

In Canada’s 2–0 win over Qatar in Vienna, Cyl Larin scored his 25th international goal, extending his Canadian men’s record.

After that, he was more ambitious, perhaps a little carried away by his newfound affinity with greatness.

“We are close,” he said.

Closer, maybe. The gap between Canada and the world’s top teams is undeniable. It clearly and clearly exists, and there is no way to surpass it in the weeks that Harderman and his accusers have left before the biggest games of their lives.

If Canada as a country decides that we want to compete at the highest level of football for ourselves and our children, there are 20 years of work ahead. Trying starts with games like Tuesday’s defeat.

It was an account – inch by inch, touch by touch – and it was a serious one. But you need to know who you are before you can even realize who you might be.

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