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  • Colombian media showers mild praise on a 'sturdy' Canadian side that didn't play a lot of actual soccer


    What struck me while compiling this list was how little the Colombian media seemed to have to say directly about Canada. It's natural for journalists to focus on the national team they cover, but beyond a few throwaway lines in each report there wasn't much commentary or analysis of the opposition in either the friendly against Canada or the earlier one against El Salvador. In any event, the praise was light, and my Spanish isn't good enough to detect whether any of it was backhanded.

    If you're looking for a tweet-lengthy takeaway: Canada can't really play the going forward bit of soccer that well, but is good at defence and better than El Salvador. So if we're being honest, they arrived in 90 minutes at roughly the same conclusion those who follow the team closely have known all along.

    El Tiempo, probably the most well-known newspaper in the country.

    One of the paper's writers noted that "....the 5-4-1 used by Canada allowed tactics to mask its lack of technical ability."

    "[Colombia] had control of the ball, but far from Canada's goal, a team that literally piled itself up 40 meters from its end to prevent soccer being played. And thus Colombia had barely any options on goal from open play in the first 45 minutes."

    El Spectador

    "Canada was a rival more demanding than El Salvador. A team that was well-ordered at the back and that provided few spaces to Colombia while demanding the maximum from its attackers."

    El Deportivo

    "The Reds displayed a grand defensive posture, and provided a very important challenge to the Colombian attack, which included its best players. Even then, there were few clear chances."

    ESPN Deportes

    "Colombia defeated a sturdy Canada that has started to take the shape of Spanish coach Benito Floro in a very tactical friendly that left few details to chance in the Red Bull Arena."

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