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Occean limps out of Frankfurt win with “muscle injury”

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Canadian striker Olivier Occean left Eintracht Frankfurt’s Bundesliga match Friday with what his team has called a “muscle injury.”

Occean, who opened his Bundesliga account with a goal last week, hobbled out of Frankfurt’s 2-1 win over FC Nurnberg just 20 minutes into the match. Newly promoted Frankfurt won its fourth match in a row, but Canadian fans will be focused on Occean’s status ahead of the men’s national team’s two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

In mid October, Canada will host Cuba and then go on the road to Honduras as it wraps up play in CONCACAF Group C. The top two teams in Group C will go on to the Hex.

Panama, which has a date against Cuba in its final two matches, is almost assured one of the final two spots, which leaves it between Canada and Honduras, who are tied on points at the moment, for the other spot. Honduras, though, previously got a draw at BMO Field.

So, Canada — unless it gets massive help from Panama in its upcoming match against Honduras — will likely need to get a decisive win over Cuba and then get some kind of result in Honduras.

And coach Stephen Hart already knows he’ll be without Canada’s all-time leading male scorer, Dwayne De Rosario, who suffered a severe MCL sprain in Canada’s most recent qualifying game, a 2-0 loss to Panama. And winger Josh Simpson is out long-term as he recovers from a badly broken leg suffered in the final Swiss League match of the previous season.

Canada didn’t have Occean for the Panama loss, and the team struggled to generate any sort of forward thrust, as Hart likes to use the big striker alone up top. Hart and Canadian fans will likely be sweating on an update on Occean’s status.

Back to the Frankfurt match. Interestingly enough, Austrian striker Erwin “Jimmy” Hoffer — who was one of the stars of the 2007 U-20 World Cup held in Canada — came on for Occean, and scored shortly afterward.


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