Top Stories

Canada dumps short-handed Cuba


Losing four players before kickoff was just the start of what ultimately was a disastrous day for Cuba and a positive one for Canada.

The Canadians compounded on Cuba’s misery on Friday night, grabbing a 3-0 win against the already-eliminated team in front of a crowd of 17,712 at BMO Field. Cuba only had 11 men in uniform for the match that moved Canada into first place in Group C after a handful of players reportedly defected, and the Cubans just could not cope with the loss of firepower or the inspired Canadians.

Playing without the injured Dwayne De Rosario, the hosts jumped out in front in the 14th minute off a goal from Tosaint Ricketts before proceeding to waste a number of chances throughout the remainder of the match. Canada had 35 shots in the game, but still only managed to score one through the first 72 minutes.

Still, the Cubans did not prove to be much of a threat and Will Johnson and David Edgar scored six minutes apart midway through the second half to leave no doubt as to who would be the victors.

Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the second half. Cuban striker Roberto Linares was shown a red card in the 70th minute and three minutes later Canada forward Oliver Occean received the same fate.

Honduras and Panama will play in the other Group C match on Friday night, and a win by the Panamanians would place them back in the top spot of the group as well as secure their advancement to the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying with one game left in this semifinal round.

What do you think of Canada’s 3-0 win? Surprised by the amount of reported defections by Cuban players? Do you see Canada advancing to the Hex?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Great job Canada but for a second there i thought that was Mo Edu in his old Rangers kit. I’m not being racist either. Just what i thought from first glance.

  2. And the lower divisions of North American soccer(and possibly the MLS) are again enriched by more Cuban players defecting. And there is nothing the Cuban government can do to the families of the defectees, if it got back that there was government interference or punishment, Cuba would be suspended from Fifa. I think Cuba is one of the last countries you can actually defect/seek asylum from in the Western Hemisphere to the US (or Canada)

    • I feel obligated (for lack of a better word) to respectfully challenge yor assertion that there is no backlash for some Cuban defectors’ families after they decide to leave because FIFA won’t stand for it.

      When one of the previous gentlemen visited with us in our home several years after defecting, he told my wife and I that he had family members lose their state run jobs (the majority of employment is connected with state involvement) because of his decision. They were being punished for his actions.

      He also told us that rather than buy even a used car (he had owned one while he was briefly in MLS), he was as frugal with his money as possible because he was sending back money to support his mom and other family members who were no longer employed because he left. Because of the economic situation in Cuba, with his USL1 and MISL yearly salaries, he was easily able to wire back what the family members needed as to try to alleviate their suffering.

      I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of what he shared with us.

  3. Why would anyone be surprised by the Cuban defections? Cuban players defect every time they leave the country it seems. Gallindo? Alonso?


Leave a Comment