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  • Sober Second Thoughts, part 1: Allez les Rouges?


    You know they won, right?

    Yes, it was a frustrating 90 minutes. In the live blog I was running I wrote that we were 10 minutes away from a Voyageurs meltdown (without a goal) in the 15th minute. It pretty much went to form.

    But, you know they won, right?


    And, it didn’t even involve a coin flip (for newer fans, Canada advanced to the 2000 Gold Cup knock-out stage after winning a coin flip. They went on to win the tournament). What it did involved was a terrible call from the official who fell for Ali Gerba’s terrible dive. I guess he figured a man that big couldn’t possibly fall down unless he was fouled.

    DeRo converted the penalty for his 16th career international goal, edging him one above the man who drew the call in the race for the all-time mark, which will likely fall during the World Cup qualifying.

    If you were surprised by the result you haven’t been paying attention. Guadeloupe has always been a frustrating opponent – they beat Canada in 2007 remember – and when they went down to 10 they were bound to park the bus. The Cauncks have never been all that good at breaking down that type of game. They did enough yesterday and that should be enough for the fans.

    It’s not, of course. In a spectacular display of cognitive dissonance, Canadian fans have convinced themselves that the only acceptable result against a country like Guadeloupe is something that might resemble Spain.

    Thing is, this is Canada we’re talking about. The Red and White need to learn how to win before it can learn to win pretty.

    Supporters will likely be more forgiving Tuesday against Panama. A win in that game and Canada could find itself top of the group (that’s the least likely outcome, but still possible). Obviously, the prevailing thinking now is that we’re screwed. Panama is too skilled, too fast, to Latin, too something for Canada to have any chance whatsoever. They did, after all, just pull off one of the Gold Cup’s greatest upsets in knocking off the US 2-1.

    They also barely hung on to beat 10-man Guadeloupe 3-2, allowing both goals while the Islanders were down a man.

    See, Panama’s not Spain either.

    The bottom line is that Canada needs to learn how to win the big games. Tuesday is one of them. The Gold Cup (really) starts then.

    And if Canada wins no one is going to care that they struggled to beat Guadeloupe.

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