Canada Hammers St. Kitts and Nevis
Canada crushed St. Kitts and Nevis 4–0 Tuesday night at BMO Field in Toronto to underscore their dominance of their Round 2 CONCACAF group. Tuesday night’s game was a chance to score some goals and put on a show for the fans after two disappointing scoreless draws.
“It’s a great performance all around,” said Man of the Match Dwayne De Rosario in a post-match interview with Sportsnet. “These guys wanted to show the fans that we can score. We proved it tonight.
“The future definitely looks bright when you look at it today.”
Canada recorded a scoreless draw away to St. Kitts and Nevis last Friday to advance to Round 3 of CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifiers making Tuesday’s game academic. Canada wins their group with four wins, two draws, and no losses ahead of Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia.
The performance in St. Kitts and Nevis was not one to write home about although it was the result that matters most. Canada will also want to bounce back from a disappointing scoreless draw at home against Puerto Rico on Oct. 11.
Prior to Tuesday’s final Round 2 match against St. Kitts and Nevis, Canadian head coach Stephen Hart said in a press release that, “The match means a lot to us. We owe it to the fans to put on a good performance.” Tuesday’s win was the perfect way to have the national team end their time together until next year.
Canada had trouble finishing its chances early in the game but things changed dramatically after Olivier Occean gave Canada the lead just before the half-hour mark.
“We got a good shot on goal. My positioning was good in the box,” said Occean in a halftime interview on Sportsnet. After that, Canada played with more confidence.
Less than 10 minutes later, Tosaint Ricketts was taken down in the 18-yard box and a penalty was called. Up stepped Dwayne De Rosario to convert the penalty kick for his 19th career goal for the Canadian national side. This tied the record held by Dale Mitchell.
“It’s a goal that I wanted to accomplish,” said De Rosario. He described Mitchell as “a player that has done a lot for this country.”
Josh Simpson headed in a corner kick in first half injury time to give Canada a 3–0 lead after 45 minutes of play. St. Kitts and Nevis, unbeaten after five games, were being totally outclassed and left Simpson completely unmarked on the goal.
Ricketts was rewarded for his hard work all night with a goal in the 88th minute when he poked home a loose ball after a De Rosario shot.
The hard part begins for Canada next summer when it will join Honduras, Panama, and Cuba in a much more competitive round-robin tournament. It was at this stage that Canada fell in attempting to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. The excitement continues for Canada on June 8 in Cuba.
Follow Rahul on Twitter @RV_ETSports