If a game goes on in the forest, does anybody hear?
For the three thousand or so watching the stream of the Canadian men’s national team’s friendly against Azerbaijan, it was 90 minutes that offered very little in terms of hope or discouragement ahead of the next two crucial games of World Cup qualifying. Tesho Akindele’s goal, thanks to a wonderful set-up from Scott Arfield, was clinical. And Akindele put a ball off the bar earlier in the first half, as well.
That was the good.
But, as the game went on, Canada’s attacking intent dwindled. As night set in the Austrian forest that surrounded the playing field (it would be overly generous to use the word “stadium”here), coach Benito Floro brought in a series of defensive-minded substitutions, save for the insertion of Junior Hoilett.
Tosaint Ricketts’s shot that narrowly went over the bar was as close as Canada would come in the second half.
It was almost as if Floro and Canada wanted to show it could hold Azerbaijan to a 1-1 draw, as the opposition drew level early in the second halfafter Karl Ouimette was judged to have fouled an attacker in the penalty area. Dimitrij Nazarov finished off the penalty kick.
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