It was a perfectly windy day in Fort Lauderdale, as the Canadian national team was able to nurse a one-goal lead after an early Marcus Haber goal — and came out with a 1-0 win over Guatemala.
With the wind at their backs, Canada pinned the Guatemalans deep in their own half through the first 20 minutes of the game. Clearances from defenders and Guatemalan goal kicks were knocked down by the wind.
The Canadians got their breakthrough when a Kyle Bekker corner kick was headed into the goal by Marcus Haber. It had the feel of a training-ground goal, as not one Guatemalan defender looked to move after Bekker delivered his swerving ball into the penalty area. Haber was absolutely unchallenged when he leapt to the meet the ball.
A couple of minutes later, midfield veteran Julian de Guzman lashed a volley from outside the box just wide of goal.
While Canada didn’t create many golden chances in the rest of the first half, the real test came in the second half. To play into the teeth of a strong wind, you need to keep possession by playing the ball on the ground.
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