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Gold Cup - Canada vs. Haiti 06/11 [R]


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Canada looks to rebound

June 10, 2007

MIAMI (CP) -- The math is quite simple for Canada's national men's soccer team: Beat Haiti on Monday and qualify for the CONCACAF World Cup quarter-finals.

Canada (1-1-0, three points) is second in the Group A standings, behind surprising Guadeloupe (1-0-1, four points). Haiti (0-0-2, two points) is third, with Costa Rica (0-1-1) last with one point. However, all four teams remain in contention for the quarter-finals.

Guadeloupe, in its first Gold Cup, begins play Monday against Costa Rica, followed by the Canada-Haiti match. Both games will be played at the Orange Bowl.

The top two teams in each group automatically advance to the next round, with two of the three third-place finishers also qualifying.

Canada opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica on Wednesday before losing 2-1 on Saturday to Guadeloupe. Canadian coach Stephen Hart said his team's key to success against Haiti will be defence.

"Even when we beat Costa Rica, I told our players that we had to defend better," he said. "Both goals we allowed Saturday were preventable. We simply have to tighten up on defence."

Hart, though, is also looking for more speed from his offence.

"We moved the ball too slow to cause Guadeloupe any trouble," he said. "We moved the ball much better in the second half.

"We created some chances and some half chances, but we didn't score, right?"

Guadeloupe coach Roger Salnot said he wouldn't be surprised if Canada earned a positive result Monday.

"Canada made us work very hard," Salnot said. "They are tall, they are powerful and they are good in the air.

"They hold the ball well. They have a lot of character and strength."

Despite the outcome Saturday, Canada has enjoyed success at this event. The national team captured 2000 Gold Cup and finished third in 2002.

On Wednesday, Canada's men's team, women's team and boys' under-20 team all won on the same night for the first time in history. The women beat New Zealand 5-0 and the under-20 squad defeated the United States 4-0.

But the focus will be on the men's team Monday.

"We had hoped to have everything wrapped by (Saturday night)," said Hart, who has 13 Europe-based players on his 23-man roster, the highest total of any team in his group. "But that didn't happen.

"Luckily, we have another chance Monday night."

Haiti, though, will be a tough opponent. It is making its third Gold Cup appearance, having qualified by winning the Caribbean Tournament. That was the country's first soccer title of any kind since 1973.

In this tournament, Haiti has two 1-1 ties, thanks primarily to the efforts of goalie Gabart Fenelon.

"We still have work to do," said Fenelon, whose team will have the home-crowd advantage versus Canada because of the large Haitian soccer community living in Miami. "We will be ready for the game Monday night."

The Gold Cup champion will automatically qualify for the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa, which is a prestigious tuneup for the 2010 World Cup, which will also be held in South Africa.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/article.jsp?content=20070610_124859_4492

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quote:Originally posted by Metro

I have it that if Canada draws they get 1st due to goals for. Anyone agree?

From Wikipedia:

If Costa Rica wins by one goal, and Canada and Haiti tie, Canada, Costa Rica, and Guadeloupe would be tied on points and goal differential. In that case, if Canada scored more goals in their last group game than Guadeloupe (or neither scored any), Canada takes first and Costa Rica takes second; otherwise if Guadeloupe scored more goals than Canada, or scored two or more, Costa Rica takes first and Guadeloupe takes second.

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quote:Originally posted by Metro

I have it that if Canada draws they get 1st due to goals for. Anyone agree?

From Wikipedia:

If Costa Rica wins by one goal, and Canada and Haiti tie, Canada, Costa Rica, and Guadeloupe would be tied on points and goal differential. In that case, if Canada scored more goals in their last group game than Guadeloupe (or neither scored any), Canada takes first and Costa Rica takes second; otherwise if Guadeloupe scored more goals than Canada, or scored two or more, Costa Rica takes first and Guadeloupe takes second.

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