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Feb 9 Friendly - N Ireland v Canada POST-match [R]


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<center>FriendlyNorthern Ireland 0  Canada 1Wednesday, February 9, 2005

12:00 PM PST / 1:00 PM MST / 2:00 PM CST / 3:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM AST / 4:30 PM NST / 8:00 PM local

Windsor Park, BelfastTelevision: Sportsnet (live in all regions)</center>


31' CAN Olivier Occean


20' CAN Gabriel Gervais

22' CAN Gabriel Gervais


22' CAN Gabriel Gervais


NORTHERN IRELAND: Maik Taylor (Roy Carroll, 46), Chris Baird, Tony Capaldi, Aaron Hughes, George McCartney, Colin Murdock (Andy Kirk, 46), Steven Davis, Tommy Doherty (Phillip Mulryne, 46), Keith Gillespie (Steve Jones, 78), Jeff Whitley, David Healy (Andrew Smith, 81). Unused subs: Mark Clyde, Stephen Craigan, Mark Williams

CANADA: 1-Greg Sutton, 3-Gabriel Gervais, 4-Kevin McKenna © (12-Mike Klukowski, 46), 5-Marco Reda, 6-Adrian Serioux (16-Jaime Peters, 88), 8-Daniel Imhof, 9-Olivier Occean, 10-Patrice Bernier, 11-Jim Brennen (7-Iain Hume, 87), 14-Dwayne de Rosario, 15-Josh Simpson. Unused subs: 33-Lars Hirschfeld, 13-Atiba Hutchinson

[Pre-match thread]  [In-match thread]


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Cripes we were God-awful. I'm almost embarassed at claiming a win in this one. We had no possession, no control.

The goal was brilliantly taken on both ends but beyond that only positives I see was Sutton in the second half (thought he was more aggressive and saved two great opportunities from Bernier and Reda (wait, they play for us!).

Honestly I think the back line was way more solid once Klukowski came on and he and Reda effectively shut down the middle. I thought Bernier was pretty combative and right back and Simpson, well, he came in useful when his speed tracked down Healy from behind on that through-ball.

I know conditions were horrible, off-season for some players, etc., etc., but I think if this continues that infamous 5-0 Portugal score line will ring true ... at half time.

A win is a win though, so I'll pop a cold one in their honour due to their guts and determination if nothing else.

BTW, Frank, we have this thing called a bench and it is a friendly so you can use all the players.

P.S. Great spike from OO on Carroll.

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Man, NI is going to get torn to shreds at Old Trafford.

Don't know how much to draw from this match. Don't know how much Yallop can draw from the test given the weather and 10-man squad.

Couple of the lads certainly looked in over their heads but what of it? Unusual circumstances.

This Kuklowski fellow may be worth another look-see.

Would have liked to see Hume and Peters get another quarter hour at least. Especially Hume. Peters still looks like he's got a long way to go but then again he didn't really have an opportunity to get into it.

Wow. Can't remember the last time a Canuck got sent off.

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Yay for the win. I only saw a few bits when I stole away from work.

Saw Gervais 2nd foul for the red - that was clumsy.

Otto goal was awesome. Great cross by Jimbo and a superb header.

Conditions were awful but there too much poor play from us.

Can't comment on DeRo cuz I didn't see enough of the game but I did see lose possession pretty easily a few times.

What was up with Sutton watching that cross hit the post in the first half? It was windy but that was his ball.

In the small bit of the second half I saw, it looked like the wind died down.

I was surprised Yallop did not go to the bench earlier. Reminded me of Holger.

Yallop won't have much to take from this game, I don't think.

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We played like crap, but NI were truly inept when it came to actually generating a real chance on goal. A good CONCACAF team would have scored 4 on us today. Klukowski was very strong, Sutton did fine with good anticipation to stop Bernier from scoring an OG. Simpson played not too bad. Imhoff twice in 30 seconds could have been called for a penalty so we got lucky there. Reda needs to show more, and I thought Gervais looked in over his head. Serioux and Brennan were so-so, Occean scored but otherwise quite average and DD had a poor game.

I'd rate it:

Sutton - 8

Simpson - 6

Gervais - 3

McKenna - 6 (Klukowski 8)

Reda - 5

Bernier - 5

Serioux - 5

Imhof - 4

Brennan - 5.5

DeRosario - 4

Occean - 5.5

Hume looked good but too little time to rate.

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Would just like to add I hope Big Kev was just cramping up. Poor weather, half time break, that sort of thing. Nothing too serious.

Poor Occean looked like he was hurting playing in that gale. You'd have thought he could have taken the cold given his club form.

Nice crowd and in fine voice. Poor bastards are going to be disappointed again and again and again...

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I thought Simpson, Reda, Klukowski and Sutton were the best on the field for Canada tonight. Mainly because they were the last line of defense. Other than that, I didnt really see too much of anything positive to comment on. The goal was fabulous, I think it was the only real shot on net. Too bad that Hume and Peters werent put on ten or fifteen minutes earlier because the way they were running we might have been able to get another, or at least another shot.

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I think it was a good move for Yallop to hold off on peters and hume until the last 10. he didnt want us to give up a late goal like we always do, with the late subs, we got out of our zone at least a couple times, our only chances of the second half came in the dying moments. true we still couldve conceded with that late post, but at least he tried (or am i giving yallop too much credit here?)

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Sutton sure looked timid in the first half, his confidence seems to be a little short. I thought the one off the post and the open header from the edge of the crease were both his balls to take. He looked better in the second half. I don't know what was up with Gervais, again he looked short on confidence. He deserved to be sent off but it was unnecessary on his part. Good thing NI can't score, especially the way we kept handing the ball to them in our own half.

A beautiful goal, though. Great curling free kick and sweet finish from Olivier. I'll try to remember that and block out all the rest.

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Canada played poorly, for most of the game and were lucky to win. N.Ire did well to pressure us, but created very little, still they should have at least tied the game with the chances they did have. I wasn't happy with DeRo's play, he should have been left up front or taken off. I understand the need for some attacking midfield role to work in between striker and midfield with a man down, but DeRo didn't defend or connect the play at all. I thought our passing game was non existant, and defensivly the midfeild and back line played well and stuck to their task but did nothing to control the ball.

Gervais should have been sent off, two takes worthy at least of a yellow and a stern warning, but ref gave him the marching orders which he was intitled to do.

I'm also unhappy that Yallop waited so long to bring in subs, what's the point of these friendlies if your not going to give a chance to someone and experiment a little. Not only that, but the acessively defensive look of the team was turned around when he finally did make changes to a 4 attacking player system which nearly caused a goal for Canada and a late equalizer N.Ire.

In general I liked the fight Canada had shown, and thought we defened well enough most of the time. But the coaching choices and ability to play team soccer were dissapointing.

I'm not sure I want to see Portugal if we play like this.

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Northern Ireland 0-1 Canada

Match reaction

More international photos

Northern Ireland crashed at home to a 10-man Canadian team to leave Lawrie Sanchez still looking for his first home win as manager.

Striker Oliver Occean peeled away from his marker to head in the only goal on 32 minutes.

That came 10 minutes after Canada defender Gabriel Gervais was sent-off for yellow card challenges on Keith Gillespie and David Healy.

Northern Ireland had chances but have not won in 11 games at Windsor Park.

Healy will look back on a great chance to draw level in the 38th minute. The Leeds striker somehow managed to head wide in front of the posts following a good cross from Tony Capaldi.

Healy then skipped away from Marco Reda only to smack his shot against the legs of keeper Greg Sutton with the ball then striking the near post.

Sanchez gave Boston's Andy Kirk a chance to impress as a half-time substitute but he had no joy on a disappointing night for Northern Ireland.

Philip Mulryne, Steve Jones and Andy Kirk also came off the bench and Crewe's Jones almost snatched a draw in stoppage time, only to see his shot come off an upright.


Northern Ireland: Taylor, Baird, Aaron Hughes, Murdock, McCartney, Gillespie, Whitley, Doherty, Davis, Capaldi, Healy. Subs: Carroll, Smith, Kirk, Mulryne, Jones, Williams, Craigan, Clyde.

Canada: Sutton, Gervais, McKenna, Serioux, Imhof, Occean, Bernier, Brennan, Reda, De Rosario, Simpson. Subs: Hutchinson, Hirschfeld, Peters, Klukowski, Hume, Watson.

Referee: Joseph Attard (Malta).


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I'd have to agree that there weren't too many positives to take away from the match, some solid defending and good goalkeeping though, and Hume gave us a little possession late on.

the officiating was pretty poor- how often does anyone ever get 2 yellows in 3 minutes- unheard of. But how about the injury time at the end of the game?!?! It was supposed to be 3 minutes but I counted at least 5 minutes- home field advantage I guess.

It's going to be a rough one in Portugal, perhaps a 5-4-1 or 4-5-1 might be in order...

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It is pretty clear that DeRosario is one-dimensional (and slow to boot), which really isn't a knock against him - he was way out of position. I can't believe Yallop didn't reorganize at half and remove DeRo. Surely Atiba was hurt? Gervais hadn't played in a competitive match in months.

I just hope our lame soccer reporters will try and get to the bottom of some of Yallop's tactical thinking. Dobson and Forrest are way too soft on Canadian managers.

All in all it was very difficult to watch.

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We didn't deserve to win that game, but my impressions of it were:

-The ref was bad enough to be from CONCACAF, he either missed too many calls or called them wrong.

-We actually look quite strong in the air

-Occean looks more like a target man than a player that can run with the ball

-That was a horribly coached game by Yallop, Occean should've come off at around 60 minutes with either DeRo or Hume up front. At least they can run with the ball.

-We still can't pass. We spend more time just kicking the ball than actually passing.

-Gervais may end up being a liability. He seems to play the man instead of the ball.

-Sutton looks good at controlling the area. With the exception of the one at the very end, none of Northern Ireland's corners or free kicks looked to have any danger.

-Imhof needs to use better positioning around the area.

-Perhaps it's just because Norway's league is out of season, but Occean looked slow and out of shape.

-Hume and Peters offer hope for our future. They look like they'll give opposition defences fits for years to come.

-We really need Hutchinson on the field to act as a Midfield general.

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Hard to watch? Yeah. Maybe a little. Think the NI intensity was getting the better of the Canadas. We forget sometimes that they still have a chance at WCQ. Slim as it may be, they ain't dead yet.

Thought Imoff didn't exactly have his best match but he tried to pick up the Canada energy there, eh Andrew? But that stumble in the 1st half... Ho boy. Just ruined what was otherwise, at least what I thought was, a pretty good play. And nearly resulted in disaster.

Think a lot of these trial teams that DDR is visiting are all drawing the same conclusion. The man's got some talent but is all too often on his own page when it comes to the tactical requirments of this funny old game. Even that wouldn't be so bad if he'd just stay on that same page. Everybody else could adjust. But alas, he dosen't.

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We played a game where we should of won... NI was just ****e.. plain and simple... And we found out who wasnt good enouhg and who was

Sutton - 8 - He was huge, and very strong except for that one cross off the post

Simpson - 5 - Was lacking in the second half with an attack, but in the first he was strong

Gervais - 3 - Professional Foul and some bad ball work... 3 is a good number

McKenna - 4 - Was god awful at the back, losing balls left andright and when he didnt he still made bas passes

Reda - 6 - Solid EXCEPT for a crazy diving header

Bernier - 5 - Did not impress at all, all he seemed to do is foul...

Serioux - 6.5 - Serioux was all over the field challanging for balls and causing a rukus

Imhof - 6 - I actually noticed him good enough for a 6

Brennan - 6.5 - Would of been a 7 if he played the second half ;) that free kick was becks like!

DeRosario - 5 - Did a good job working back on defence, just not smart enough for defence...

Occean - 6.5 - Nice header and strong like bull

Kluk - 8 - Best defender by far... he was very solid on and off the ball... i expect him to be a starter now

Frank Yallop - 1 - What the heck was he thinking not making any changes!??! can we say Holgie?

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Andrew> still hating on Imhof? I thought we was our best midfielder today which isn't saying much. He certainly played decently in the first 20 when we had a semblance of a midfield. In the last 70 he and the rest did their headless chicken routine and yeah he probably should have been flagged for a PK.

I thought Reda was good. Asside from the wild diivng header that nearly gave Healy a breakaway and a the near own-goal (which wasn't as bad as a few others we had/miss-kicks in the area). Klukowski looked quite good. I thought he settled things down well in the middle considering how make-shift it was. I'm not sold on Bernier as a mid. He looked okay as an emergency RB, but we have much better at RB than that.

I was pretty happy with Sutton. Probably MOTM for us. Could have done better a couple of times, but came out decently, made some nice saves off of our defenders.

I didn't mind Occean up front. Anyone alone isn't going to do much, but I thought he showed more pace than I thought he had.

God all that sounds positive. I guess I'm trying to focus on the positives because that was the worst game I've seen us play in quite a while. Conditions were bad to be sure. I think it would haev been different if we had started a midfield and didn't have to bypass it so often.

I agree FY needed to make many, many more subs. I was shocked Atiba wasn't on at half. I suspect he might have been hurt. Wasn't he supposed to be starting? And DeRo can't play in the midifeld, he's a total liability in our half of the field.



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quote:Originally posted by matthew

Andrew> still hating on Imhof? I thought we was our best midfielder today which isn't saying much. He certainly played decently in the first 20 when we had a semblance of a midfield. In the last 70 he and the rest did their headless chicken routine and yeah he probably should have been flagged for a PK.

Well sir, then you and I agree to disagree. :D

BTW, I'm a new hater. I've always backed his inclusion in the past.

Now, meh...

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ok, maybe we didnt play the best looking game, but the fact is we won a close, hard fought game under tough conditions (away, in the rain, with only 10 men). Not to mention we did it without our stars. cmon guys, this is a great result, and all looks well for the future.

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This is the report by the Press Association agency:

N Ireland 0 Canada 1

By Ken Gaunt, PA Sport

Lawrie Sanchez was left with much to ponder after tonight’s 1-0 defeat against Canada as he tries to prepare his team for their World Cup qualifier against England next month.

The Northern Ireland manager saw his team display a lack of the nous required to break down 10-man Canada – not a good sign for their meeting with Sven-Goran Eriksson’s superstars on March 26.

They had 68 long minutes to make their advantage pay, after Gabriel Gervais had been sent off for two yellow cards. But they failed to do so and instead went down to Oliver Occean’s 32nd-minute winner.

Substitute Steve Jones almost snatched an equaliser in stoppage time only for his shot to come back off the post.

Sanchez decided to employ a 4-5-1 formation for the first time, with the England game obviously in mind.

Chris Baird picked out Tony Capaldi with a marvellous diagonal ball after eight minutes which stretched the Canadian defence.

But the young Plymouth player got a poor first touch, and his cross failed to trouble goalkeeper Greg Sutton who was making only his second start.

Jeff Whitley then raced forward for Northern Ireland, but his effort finished nearer the corner flag than the goal.

David Healy almost caught out Sutton after 17 minutes when he took a quick freekick from fully 40 yards.

However, the ball held up in the wind – and the goalkeeper, who plays for Montreal, was able to make a comfortable catch.

Canada were reduced to 10 men in the 22nd minute when Gervais picked up his second yellow card in the space of two minutes for rash challenges on Keith Gillespie and then Healy.

Northern Ireland stepped up the pressure, and Whitley saw his effort deflected wide after a mistake by Kevin McKenna.

They came within a whisker of taking the lead when a speculative cross from Aaron Hughes came back off the post in the 27th minute.

But the 10-men Canadians took the lead in their first real attack.

Jim Brennan whipped in a marvellous free-kick from the left, and Occean peeled away from his marker to head home.

That left Northern Ireland stunned – because they had the majority of possession until then, never mind the extra man.

They should have drawn level in the 38th minute, but Healy somehow managed to head wide in front of the posts following a good cross from Capaldi.

Healy then skipped away from Marco Reda only to smack his shot against the legs of Sutton.

Northern Ireland boss Sanchez decided to make three changes to the team at halftime.

He reverted to 4-4-2, with Andy Kirk replacing Colin Murdock and partnering Healy up front.

Goalkeeper Roy Carroll came on for Maik Taylor, while Phil Mulryne was drafted in for Tommy Doherty.

Northern Ireland pushed forward in the 50th minute, and Capaldi picked out Gillespie at the far post.

He weighed up his options before rattling in a shot which was deflected to safety.

Gillespie then caused a moment of panic when he delivered a low cross into the area, and Patrice Bernier almost turned the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Northern Ireland were more attack-minded going into a crucial phase of the game but were let down by a series of poor passes.

Canada looked content to sit back and hang on to their narrow advantage – so often a dangerous tactic.

Gillespie was seeing plenty of the ball but he was again wasteful in the 65th minute when he fired a shot wide of the target.

Sutton was proving equal to everything Northern Ireland could throw at him and took an inswinging corner from Gillespie confidently in the 68th minute.

Jones was handed his chance in the 75th minute when he replaced Gillespie, who limped off.

Canada almost added a second in the 85th minute on the counter-attack when a shot from Dwayne de Rosario was deflected off the bar.

Then Jones then saw his effort beat Sutton in stoppage time only for his shot to come back off the post.

Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez admitted his team tonight received “a good kick up the backside” from Canada.

Sanchez saw the hosts go down 1-0 at Windsor Park – little more than a month before their World Cup qualifier against England at Old Trafford.

Canada sealed the victory through Oliver Occean even though they had been reduced to 10 men when Gabriel Gervais was sent off.

Northern Ireland almost equalised in stoppage time when a shot from substitute Steve Jones hit the post. Aaron Hughes also rattled the woodwork, while David Healy missed a point-blank header.

Sanchez said: “Tonight we played to our ranking. We lacked quality in our crosses and invention around the box.

“Not too many of my side are playing first-team football, and it showed. Too many of them looked rusty.

“It was a good kick up the backside – although to be honest, neither goalkeeper had much to do.”

Sanchez was pleased, though, with the debut of Aston Villa’s Steve Davis.

“He did well, and I hope it will be the start of many games for us,” he said.

“A number of the players did okay – but that was about as good as it got.”

Canada are ranked 15 places above Northern Ireland, and their manager Frank Yallop was delighted with their display.

He said: “We defended well after losing a man so early in the game. Most of my guys are used to the aerial game – and they did well.

“It wasn’t easy because of the conditions, and Northern Ireland were tough opponents. They kept coming at us.”

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