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Yallop Wants Canada to Finish.....

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Canadian soccer coach wants team to finish what they start around the net

BURNABY, B.C. (CP) - Frank Yallop wants his team to finish what they start.

Canada's national soccer team coach watched his side show some offensive creativity and flair but fail to finish around the net in a 2-1 loss to Honduras in an international friendly Saturday night at Swangard Stadium.

Converting their chances while keeping their shape on defence will be important when Canada opens play at the Gold Cup tournament Thursday in Seattle, said Yallop.

"We've got to start to learn to win, do the right things in every game we play and make sure we're just not pretty to watch but can get some results," said Yallop, who has a record of 5-6-2 since taking over the national team on Dec. 16, 2003.

"We missed our chances and they used two bad slips in our back to score their goals. I said to the guys at least we came back into the game late and showed some promise near the end."

Francisco Ramirez scored in the 52nd minute for Honduras, then set up Wilmer Velasquez on a pretty play just four minutes later. Both goals came after the Canadian defence was caught flat footed on long balls.

The Canadians clawed their way back when captain Kevin McKenna scored off a header in the 70th minute.

While the match was a tune up it also served as a mixer for the young side Yallop has put together for the Gold Cup, the championship of CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Six members of the team arrived Friday morning after playing in Portland the pervious night with the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer League. For several of the Canadians playing in Europe, it was their first game action in weeks since their leagues ended.

"Of course we wanted to win, but this game was more to try to get to know each other on the field," said forward Dwayne de Rosario of the San Jose Earthquakes, who might have been the best Canadian on the pitch Saturday.

"I think we learned each other's styles, how we want to receive the ball and where each other's position is on the field. We just have to work on it in the next game."

Canada dominated Honduras for the first 51 minutes, using some pretty passing and aggressive ball movement to create several scoring opportunities.

Iain Hume, the bright young prospect who plays for the Tranmere Rovers of the English League One, had a golden chance in the 28th minute but chose power instead of patience and blasted a shot into the arms of the Honduras 'keeper.

Josh Simpson, of Millwall of the Championship League, just missed on a header and de Rosario sent a ball wide of an open corner.

"It's more learning to play together than learning anything about the game," said Hume, 21, of Brampton, Ont.

"We're going to take the positives out of everything. If we can do that, this team will grow together and this team will become a decent team."

The game turned unfriendly in the second half. With Canada pressing for the tying goal, Honduran players began crashing to the ground like fall leafs.

The frustrated Canadians earned four yellow cards, two in the 88th minute.

"It's a disgrace," Hume muttered about what looked like several Honduran dives.

"I'm not scared to say it. Some of the antics that happen in games with Central American teams are a bit of a joke."

Yallop said it's another thing the team must learn to contend with.

"We have to forget about their antics," said Yallop.

"We have to make sure we can play better in the games and get results out of them."

Canada opens the Gold Cup against Costa Rica, then faces the U.S. Saturday.

The Canadians wrap up the preliminary round of the 12-team tournament July 12 against Cuba at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

Honduras plays in a group in Houston.

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