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Canada Defeats Swiss in Shield Final

Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s U-17 National Team defeated Switzerland 2:1 today to claim the Shield Final and 5th place overall at the prestigious Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland.

Canada grabbed an early lead through Alex Semenets in the 20th minute from an indirect free kick just inside the Swiss area after a Swiss defender was called for an illegal back-pass. After two false starts that saw the Swiss encroach on the free kick, Olivier Lacoste-Lebuis rolled the ball forward for Semenets who smashed his shot into the roof of the Swiss goal for the game’s opening goal.

The Swiss, however, responded in the waning moments of the half when the Canadian defense failed to clear the danger after a scramble in front of their goal. The loose ball bounced fortuitously to a Swiss striker who was stationed at the top of the area. The striker made no mistake with the opportunity, curling his shot into the upper right corner of the Canadian goal.

But Canada would not let this game slip away and in the 69th minute, some intricate combination play involving Semenets and Marcus Johnstone at the corner of the Swiss box sprung Semenets. The first half goal scorer turned provider with a cross to the far post that found an unmarked William Hyde, who coolly side-footed his shot into the open net for the match winner.

"Throughout the tournament we played well in the 1st half but lost concentration in the 2nd,” said Canadian head coach Stephen Hart. “Today we got the result, but never found our rhythm."

Canadian Head Coach, Stephen Hart, is preparing his squad for the CONCACAF U-17 Qualifying Tournament, which is scheduled to take place in April 2007 in Honduras and Jamaica. Both countries will host a group of four teams with the top two teams receiving automatic berths to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea in 2007, and the two third-placed teams playing a home and away series to determine CONCACAF's fifth spot.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Ballymena International Tournament

Shield Final

Ballymena, N. Ireland, UK

CANADA – 2 (1)


Goals: CANADA – Semenets 20, Hyde 69; SWITZERLAND – unavailable 40

Cautions: - none

Expulsions – none

CANADA: 20-Michal Misiewisz; 2-Greg Smith; 3-Colin Parenteau Michon; 6-Daniel Kijowski (12-Adam Straith, 70); 8-Devin Gunenc; 5-Olivier Lacoste Lubuis; 7-Antonio Rago (15-Cedric Carrie, 72); 11-William Hyde; 14-Marcus Johnstone; 16-Bawe Nsame (9-Randy Edwini Bonseu, 55); 17-Alex Semenets

Head Coach: Stephen Hart (CAN)

Subs not used: 1-Karem Shergill; 4-Philippe Davies; 10-Mohamed Sylla; 13-Robert Adam (illness)

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