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CP: Canada Moves Forward, Beating Minnow Belize

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Canada moves on in World Cup qualifying with win over minnow Belize


KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) - Canada became the first team to reach the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region Wednesday, defeating modest Belize 4-0 to win the two-game series 8-0.

Dwayne De Rosario, a danger man all night long, scored twice while Tomasz Radzinski and Jim Brennan added singles for Canada in a physical contest before 5,124 on a beautiful night at Richardson Stadium.

The Canadians made six changes from Sunday's starting lineup. Belize, an all-amateur side ranked 180th in the world, made four changes to its starting 11 and looked far better than the team manhandled in the opening game.

As in the first game, however, the Canadians wore Belize down and sliced open the Belizean defence time and time again in the second half.

The visitors hacked at the Canadians all night long and Peter Mariano was sent off in the 60th minute for his second yellow card in three minutes. Substitute Iain Hume was ejected in the 84th for his second yellow.

That made six yellows for the Belizeans, to three for Canada on a night when Trinidad referee Ted Gordon seemed to lose control.

Wednesday's game was originally scheduled to be held in Belize but was shifted to Kingston at the request of the Belize Football Federation. In return, the Canadian Soccer Association paid the visitors' costs and offered them a portion of the gate.

The first half was an uneventful affair until Radzinski spiced it up in injury time, measuring a right-footed shot that rocketed into the top left-hand corner of the goal.

Radzinski was substituted at halftime, perhaps to save him from further abuse from Belize defenders.

Canada made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute on a deflected free kick, banged home by De Rosario. The San Jose Earthquakes forward extended the lead in the 73rd minute, hammering home a shot from the right after taking a long pass.

De Rosario played provider in the 85th minute, setting up a wide-open Brennan rather than take the shot himself.

Once again Canada controlled the game from the outset but Belize finally showed signs of life, venturing out of its half on occasion. Still Canadian goalie Pat Onstad could have had a manicure and not been missed during the first 45 minutes.

Belize escaped falling behind early when Radzinski and Patrice Bernier shot wide in the 12th and 20th minute and Belize goalie Shane Orio had to be sharp to stop an own goal in the 22nd when a defender knocked the ball back towards the net.

The visitors came close in the 46th minute when a long-range Victor Morales shot hit the bar. And in the 49th, Onstad had to make a good reaction save to stop Oliver Hendricks.

Orio made a stunning save in 83rd minute, somehow extending his arm to cup away a Kevin McKenna header off a corner.

Eleven of the 12 semifinalists in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, will be known by the end of this weekend. The 12th will be either Mexico or Dominica, who wrap up their series on June 27.

Barring upsets, Canada - which is ranked 95th in the world and 10th in the region - will be joined in the semifinal round by No. 26 Costa Rica, No. 55 Honduras and No. 87 Guatemala.

As in the two other semifinal groups, they will play the other countries in their pool home and away with the top two in each group advancing to the final round of six teams. The semifinal stage is scheduled from Aug. 18 to Nov. 17, with Canada's home games expected in Edmonton and Vancouver.

Three of those will earn berths in the Germany finals. The four-place finisher will play an Asian team in a playoff to join them.

Canada failed to advance past the semifinal round of qualifying in the region last time around.

Honduras, up 2-1 after the first leg, hosts No. 171 Netherland Antilles on Saturday. On Sunday, Costa Rica entertains No. 80 Cuba with the series tied at 2-2 and Guatemala welcomes No. 154 Surinam on the heels of a 1-1 tie.

Notes: The two wins over Belize represent Canada's first back-to-back victories since May 2002 . . . Pat Onstad's shutout was his 17th, moving him into sole possession of second place on Canada's all-time list, two short of Craig Forrest. Onstad moved past goalkeeping coach Paul Dolan.

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next round Canada will play Honduras,Costa Rica and Guatemala! asuming that those teams will also move on! I read that Canada might play in Edmonton and Vancouver I think they should play all there games in Edmonton in the next round because its a bigger stadium!

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quote:Originally posted by Canadian_goal_scorer

ya its awsome that canada's advancing, so for there next series i hope they play a fairly easy team! and how many things do they have to win to be in the world cup?

Geez.. Edmonton guys popping up all over the place~

For the record, these past two wins earns Canada a spot in a group with (probably) Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala. All four teams will play each other once at home, once away. The top two teams will advance to a group with the top two teams from the other two groups.

The final six will all all play each other and the top three will go to Germany while the 4th place team will fight it out with the 5th Asian team to see who gets to go.

This was fun, but we're a ways away from Germany just yet.

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quote:Originally posted by strobe_z

This was fun, but we're a ways away from Germany just yet.

Not according to our chants.

Que sera, sera!

Allez les Rouges,


P.S. That chant was clearly audible in Sportsnet's broadcast last night. Kudos, guys!

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