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Olympic Qualifying: Canada ties Mexico


Just when you thought the U.S. national team’s 1-1 tie vs. Cuba was a big disappointment comes Mexico’s less than stellar performance in a 1-1 tie against Canada on Wednesday night.

Mexico created numerous chances and controlled possession but failed to make the final pass or shot to add to Luis Landin’s first-half penalty kick. Canada’s Will Johnson opened the scoring just three minutes in but Mexico found an equalizer in the 27th minute courtesy of a penalty kick.

The result leaves Mexico tied for second in Group B with Canada, behind Guatemala, which defeated Haiti, 1-0, on the strength of a Marvin Avila goal.

The Group A race is in even more turmoil after the referee in the Mexico-Canada match issued red cards to Landin and Johnson, the game’s two goal scorers. How that will affect the remaining group matches remains to be seen.

Did you watch Mexico-Canada? What did you think? Did Mexico look vulnerable? Did Canada look pretty good? Share your thoughts on the match below.


  1. Well I was going to post something meaningful here today … but with all the political drivel spewing around what’s the point?

    Pull your heads out of your asses people. There are better things to do than have a wank fest on the internet about who’s country is better.

  2. Mission accomplished. I stirred the pot well and good. All I was doing was tongue in cheek offering up some historical reasoning why Canada generally speaking seems to get the shaft from CONCACAF officials (remember the 2007 Gold Cup anyone???). If anybody took my overthrow of legitimate govermnents comment seriously you need to take a chill pill and learn to take a joke. Hope you Yanks do well against Panama…and if any of the Cubans who jumped ship in Florida are reading this post, please give Mo Johnston at Toronto FC a call. He would love to hear from you.

  3. matt,

    if you are going to mix politics and soccer, then at least it should be interrelated. the comment by bgnewf makes no sense at all. canada shouldn’t get any bad calls against them because they haven’t overthrown legitimate governments, only the u.s. should? does that make any sense in a game between mexico and canada? it was a cheap shot. if that’s the line of reasoning we are using, then every call should go against england, spain, france, portugal, the dutch, germans and may over countries who have overthrowed legitimate governments. can we even add cuba to the list and their involvement in trying to overthrow governments? if you are going to relate soccer and politics, a much more intriguing discussion would revolve around the u.s. and cuba and their policies and how it may effect players on the field. i generally think that politics thrown into the sports just makes people more angry and hate each other more, maybe not always, but it often does. i’d rather just discuss specifics of the game.

  4. bgnewf I’m an American and I agree hole heartedly w/ your politics and your right to express them here. international soccer is inherently political and this is a large part of why I enjoy the sport so much.

  5. CONCACAF issued the following on their website:

    “CONCACAF has been notified by the Head of the Cuban Delegation that several players have left the team. CONCACAF has no information on the location of the players or the circumstances surrounding their separation from the delegation.

    CONCACAF’s sole objective is to ensure the 2008 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament is carried out in the proper manner. The Cuban Delegation has informed us that they will continue to participate in the tournament. All matches, therefore remain as scheduled.”

    – Chuck Blazer, CONCACAF General Secretary

    So Cuba is still playing the next two games.

  6. Digztfc,

    while one comment can ruin it for americans, the same can be said about canadians. i believe it was a humble canadian who started the whole political posts to begin with. can we keep this about soccer and not politics?

    the tournament just goes to show you it’s wide open. although the u.s. and mexico may be the favorites, they can be knocked off or not even qualify.

  7. Furia,

    I suggest you look back a few posts and read all the non-sensical crap the US fans were spewing before and after the Cuba game. The end result and the US’s performance speak for themselves.

    I laugh out loud when people say Mexico should win their group because on paper we’re the strongest team and bla bla bla.

    When it comes down to it, it’s 11 v 11 on the field and especially at this age anything can happen. I think Canada played an excellent game and looked dangerous on the counter. Their centerbacks were very composed and didn’t really panic. Mexico once again controlling most of the possesion and only really started creating chances in the second half although I’m sure the early goal rattled the boys.

    I’m mexican and believe me, I love my team and I’m really proud of the boys but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t make it out of the group phase, same goes for the US.

    Good luck to the boys in blue tonite.


  8. You wonder why americans get bad reputation around the world “Canada sucks…not good at hockey…all they have is health care” comments from one guy ruins it for the rest of you…ignorant

    As for the game being a Canadian, I was extremely satisfied by the officiating and thought it was valid penalty. It was the hands pulling back the guys shoulder to get into position to make the tackle. The first half was good for both sides, but the word survival comes to mind in the second half. Totally dominated by Mexico. But I have to admit that the mexican players were falling everytime the got in the box because the Canadians were playing so physical. The ref did a great job

  9. The best information I’ve found on the Cuban players is – duh – on the Miami Herald website. They are apparently now headed to or in Ft. Worth with a new cellphone, a lawyer, and memories of a nice Cuban dinner. No word yet on the Cuba’s participation in the rest of the tourney, because “the situation is still under review” and pending a meeting this morning:

  10. The US loss is tougher than the Mexican loss because they lost vs. the weakest team in their group and Mexico lost against the toughest one in their group. It will be funny if they avoid each other in the semis by both being runner up in their groups.

  11. Considering how bad the Canadian U-20 team was… this is a surprise. Maybe there isn’t much overlap between the teams, but the U-20 team was worthless.

    If what Jerry said was true… I think Cuba would have to foreit their games (or play with 10 due to the red card and 11 in their final game. Not really fair to the US at all, but what else can they do other than kick Cuba out of the tournament and make it between 3 teams.

  12. And on the Mexican Soccer By Ives site, 500 posters deamnd the head of the coach for not including Benny Feilheber in his squad…….

    Nowak’s a genius! He knew he needed to come in second to avoid Mexico. NO-VAK! NO-VAK! NO-VAK!

  13. Quit your crying and go play your hockey. Oh wait, Canada isn’t even that good at hockey anymore, either. What is Canada good at besides free health care?

    I’m looking forward to seeing what, if any, changes are made to the US squad tonight and see if the other night is put behind them. It is important to see how a young team bounces back from a poor game like Tuesday night.

  14. I can guarantee you stencom1 that very few people in Canada care about the Olympics. It’s not even being televised here. Canada played a good game at times and considering they’ve only played together for 11 days they played pretty damn well.

  15. bgnewf said:

    “I want to remind CONCACAF that Canada has never invaded any Central American country nor deposed legitimately elected governments, unlike our neighbor to the south…”

    Shut up and stop being a hosehead, eh? You Canucks are lucky we don’t nuke you for infecting the world with Celine Dion.

  16. bgnewf,

    This isn’t a political blog. Please stop trying to make it one.

    Also, please stop trying to blame poor officiating on the U.S.A. Pretty friggin’ childish if you ask me.

    Having gotten that off my chest, congrats to Canada on a nice result.

  17. That was the line up…no Dos Santos, or Vela

    México U23

    1 Francisco Guillermo Ochoa

    16 Efraín Velarde

    5 Hugo Ayala

    2 Francisco Gamboa Gómez

    3 Edgar Eduardo Castillo

    4 Julio Domínguez Juárez

    13 Sergio Gabriel Avila

    6 Patricio Gabriel Araujo

    10 Cesar Villaluz

    9 Luis Angel Landín

    7 Pablo Edson Barrera

  18. I watched the game online. Other than Canada again being the victim of atrocious officiating from CONCACAF refs the game went well for us. We kept our shape and our cool for the most part and looked strong defensively. We started to really tire from amout the 70th minute on and Mexico missed the chances they had to seal the win, especially in the last couple of minutes. I want to remind CONCACAF that Canada has never invaded any Central American country nor deposed legitimately elected governments, unlike our neighbor to the south….

  19. The Mexican media will eat this up, no lie that under 23 friendlies make the front page of papers and they have been complaining for the last two weeks that Hugo and the team look weak, he is gonna get killed with this.

  20. Watched the game on spring break at a bar in Mexico. Needless to say the Mexican fans were less than pleased with their team. The penalty the ref awarded the Mexicans looked a bit suspect. It was a very physical tackle to be sure, but it looked like the defender cleanly got the ball first.

    After the two red cards the game got intensely physical with neither team trying very hard to play pretty soccer. The Mexicans definitely dictated the tempo throughout much of the game though. That being said I’m excited by the emergence of Canada as a decent opponent in the CONCACAF region.

    The only annoying thing was that none of the Mexicans had their names printed on the back of their jerseys so I couldn’t tell if Vela and Dos Santos were playing (I think Dos Santos was but I have a difficult time identifying either of them by their faces alone).

  21. People need to understand that with younger players, results are less predictable. Mexico played decent, like they always do, they created plenty of chances but their decision making in the final third is iffy at best.

    Canada played a great game, very organized in the back and a compact midfield, they played to their strengths and the early goal worked out pretty well for them. I was impressed by their effort and I’m mexican.

    If there’s anything to learn from the first round of games is that there isn’t much of a difference between teams at this age, only individual differences.

    As for the pk, it was a foul but I can see why some refs wouldn’t have called it. The defender did wrap his arms around Villaluz, in the box nontheless, that is almost always going to be a pk.


  22. I agree with Sandro, but taking it a step further, though it does make for great TV watchin, its sad that they let them get this far to begin with (both US and Mex) . . . they need to nail the competition to the wall.

  23. Didn’t watch the game but I was surprise to hear that Mexico tied with Canada. Goes to show that you can’t take these games lightly. These results are great for CONCACAF and make this tournament a bit exciting to watch now.

  24. You made no mention of the fact that despite controlling the game…the penalty call was infact heinous.

    It was a great challenge in the box by the Canadian kid.

    Still, I watched the first hour (I don’t speak spanish so it was getting a bit hard to stay awake at that point with no sound).

    Still….whether they were ridden hard or not it’s a great result.


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