Home Canadian Soccer Teibert’s inspired play saves Canada’s U-20s from embarrassment

Teibert’s inspired play saves Canada’s U-20s from embarrassment

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Derrick Bassi
Russell Teibert’s inspired second-half performance helped save Canada from an embarrassing opening to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

The Vancouver Whitecaps’ winger set up both second-half goal as Canada rallied to beat Guadeloupe 2-1. Guadaloupe is so tiny, it’s not a FIFA member — so it can’t qualify for the U-20 World Cup even if, by some great upset, it got to the semis of this tournament in Guatemala.

Teibert made a darting run to collect a wayward cross, then dashed down the left side of the Guadeloupe penalty area, saved the ball from going into touch, then pushed a great pass to Lucas Cavallini, who smacked a skipping volley of a shot into the goal for the equalizer.

Teibert’s inch-perfect free kick was headed home by Derrick Bassi for the eventual game winner.

Teibert was clearly the best player on the pitch, making run after run, yanking Canada back into a game in which it struggled, especially in the first half.

Guadeloupe scored the opener when Christophe Houelche’s shot from just outside the box glanced off teammate Vladimir Pascal, a cruel deflection that gave Canadian keeper Julien Latendresse-Levesque no chance.

Canada finishes group-stage play on Friday, when it faces Costa Rica. The top two teams in each group go to the quarter-finals. All semifinalists qualify for the U-20 World Cup, unless Guadeloupe goes that far.

If Costa Rica beats or draws Guadeloupe in the next match in the group, Canada will know that it has made it to the quarter-finals, and can rest players. Preparing for the quarters and keeping players card-free may be the priority. Reigning U-20 player of the year Ethan Gage picked up a yellow in the Guadeloupe match, so don’t be surprised to see him sit down for the Costa Rica match if Canada is good to go through.

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