Canada Gold Cup Stories (R)

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Joe MacCarthy, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Canada's Gold rush
    Yallop optimistic, not delusional

    Canadian men's World Cup Team head coach Frank Yallop speaks to the crowd as he takes questions from players and parents following a Skills Camp out at the Edmonton Soccer last summer. (CP PHOTO/Walter Tychnowicz)

    SEATTLE (CP) - There's a huge gap between being optimistic and delusional.

    When it comes to the Gold Cup, national soccer team coach Frank Yallop has very lucid expectations for his side.

    For Yallop the 12-team tournament for the championship of CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, is another study session. It gives him a chance to evaluate the talent available to him while affording the players an opportunity to prove themselves to their coach.

    Canada plays Costa Rica on Thursday at Qwest Field in the opening game of Group B play. A win would be a huge confidence boost for Yallop's young team and would greatly enhance their chance of advancing to the next round.

    But Yallop knows the true test for the national team will come in 2008 when Canada begins qualification games for the 2010 World Cup.

    "If I put pressure on myself to get results at this point I'd be crazy," Yallop said Wednesday after practice on a pristine grass field in the shadows of Huskie Stadium at the University of Washington.

    "Right now it doesn't mean anything. It might mean sacrificing results at this point to get the experience and be ready to play (qualifying) games."

    That doesn't mean Yallop, who took over as national team coach in December 2003 after the departure of hardnosed Holger Osieck, will treat the Gold Cup like a meaningless NHL exhibition game.

    Canada faces the powerful Americans on Saturday before a partisan crowd at Qwest, the home of the NFL Seattle Seahawks.

    Losing to Costa Rica would dig a hole. To then be beaten by the Americans could bury Canada.

    "The first game is important," said Yallop.

    "What you don't want to do is lose. Then you have to go into the game Saturday looking for something. We want to come out strong and get ahead."

    Yallop wants to develop a winning attitude on the team. He wants a side that will go into the next World Cup qualifying round able to play a solid 90 minutes with sound defence and the ability to convert its scoring chances.

    He knows that takes time and patience. That's why he's assembled a 19-man roster with 13 players who have played nine or less international games for the national team.

    "We have to make sure we're building the program, that each player is getting better each time they are playing for Canada," Yallop said.

    "Yes, we want to win the tournament. We want to go into the game feeling we have a good side."

    Canada, which failed to qualify for next year's World Cup in Germany, is currently ranked No. 85 in the world, one spot ahead of Albania.

    Costa Rica is ranked 24th and the Americans 10th. Canada wraps up the preliminary round Tuesday against No. 70 Cuba at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

    "On paper we're the worst team," Yallop said.

    "We don't feel that. We feel we can get a good result in any of the games we play."

    Costa Rica - which beat Canada twice in World Cup qualifying play last year - will be without strikers Paulo Wanchope and Ronald Gomez and defender Gilbert Martinez.

    Midfielder Atiba Hutchinson said the Canadians must keep their poise against Costa Rica.

    "They are well organized and are good with the ball," said Hutchinson, a native of Brampton, Ont., who plays for Helsingborg, of the Swedish Premier League.

    "We have to be well organized and disciplined. The last couple of games we played we've been a little bit unorganized with the counterattacks."

    What Yallop doesn't want is a repeat of Saturday's friendly against Honduras. Canada dominated for 50 minutes, then gave up a two quick goals on defensive lapses and lost 2-1.

    "We've given a lot of soft goals away," said Yallop.

    "We've played well in spells in matches but never have been able to put in a full 90 minutes."
  2. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Wild trip for Gerba

    Wild trip for Gerba

    SEATTLE (CP) - You could excuse striker Ali Gerba if he was a step behind the rest of Canada's national soccer team at practice Wednesday.

    His body might have been in Seattle, getting ready for Thursday's opening game of the Gold Cup tournament, but his internal clock was somewhere across the continent, still trying to catch up. Gerba experienced a whirlwind 48 hours which saw him travel 9,800 kilometres to play games first in Vancouver with the national team, then Montreal with the Impact of the United Soccer League, before finally finishing up in Seattle.

    "I hope it's not going to be a habit for me to travel and play the same day," joked Gerba, 22.

    Gerba earned his first national team cap when he played for Canada against Honduras Saturday night in Vancouver. Right after the game - a 2-1 loss - he caught a red-eye flight to Montreal, arriving at 7 a.m.

    "I tried to take a little nap before I went into the game," he explained.

    The rest must have done him good because Gerba scored two goals as the defending USL champion Impact beat the Seattle Sounders 3-1.

    "I got lucky," Gerba shrugged.

    He was back at the airport the next morning for a 7 a.m. flight to Seattle. Following a six-hour delay in Toronto, he finally arrived in Seattle at 10 p.m. local time, about 18 hours after leaving Montreal.

    Gerba hopes to be rested enough to be in the lineup when Canada plays Costa Rica Thursday night in the opening game of Group B play at the Gold Cup.

    "I'm exhausted," Gerba admitted.

    "I'm starting to feel better. I hope tomorrow I will be ready for the game."

    National team coach Frank Yallop included six members of the Impact on his Gold Cup roster.

    Gerba was the only player to fly to Montreal for Sunday's game. He was needed after striker Eduardo Sebrango broke a bone in his right foot last week against Portland.

    "I did it because my team needed me," Gerba said.

    "I had to go back and give them help. I will always be there to give them a hand. That's what a team is about."

    Yallop didn't sound pleased with Gerba's trans-continental travel. The Impact players didn't arrive in Vancouver for the Honduras friendly until the day before the game.

    "We should have the players for two weeks before every tournament but we don't," said Yallop.

    "We don't really have a complete say in the national team program.

    "Can you blame Montreal? Not really. But this is the Canadian national team. Every player that is here wants to play for Canada. For them to have to sacrifice their position, to go back and play games, it's tough."

    Yallop had asked the USL to change their schedule to accommodate players going to the Gold Cup.

    "They said they would look into it," he said.

    "They had three weeks off in June, then we come to competition and they had three games."

    Gerba laughed when asked if he's earned enough frequent flyer miles for a free trip.

    "I don't know how things work but I'm hopeful," he said.

    The other Impact players on the national team are goalkeeper Greg Sutton, defenders Adam Braz and Gabriel Gervais and midfielders Sandro Grande and Patrick Leduc.
  3. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Re: Canada Gold Cup Stories

    Dodds thrilled to play for Canada

    SEATTLE (CP) - The long wait is over for Rhian Dodds.

    The nimble midfielder who plays with Kilmarnock of the Scottish Premier Division has finally got the call to play with Canada's national soccer team.

    Dodds, whose freckled face and messy red hair make him look younger than his 25 years, is on the roster for Canada's Gold Cup squad.

    "I always wanted to play for my country," Dodds said in his soft, slightly accented voice, prior to Canada playing Costa Rica Thursday night. "I thought it might not come.

    "I thought if it did happen it would be a great bonus. I am happy it did come."

    Dodds is one of the young, largely untested players national team coach Frank Yallop wants to get a read on during the Gold Cup, the 12-team tournament for the championship of CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

    The five-foot-10, 160-pound Dodds gives away height and bulk to many of his opponents. He makes up for it with good passing skills, aggression around the ball and a fitness level that allows him to stay mobile around the pitch.

    That's what caught Yallop's eye during a June training camp.

    "I've been trying to get him in for a while," said Yallop. "I liked what I saw.

    "He is a good utility player, clean on the ball, and did all the things I liked at that position. He plays the game sharply. The way he plays his game is maybe suited to how we like to play. It showed in that camp he was ready to go.

    "Sometimes you just go with a gut feeling."

    Born in Scotland, Dodds moved to Hamilton with his parents when he was two. He attended university in the U.S. and played for Canada's under-20 team.

    After university, he jumped at the chance to return to Scotland to play professional soccer.

    "I wanted to make a go at it," said Dodds, whose fiancee is looking after his infant daughter back home. "I didn't have to be in Scotland but I wanted to play pro football.

    "My manager from university had a contact in Scotland. I just went on trial and it worked out ever since."

    Dodds has played two seasons in Scotland and now finds it a change of pace to be on the national team, facing central American teams.

    "Scotland is really physical, fast, not as technical as the lads here," he said. "It's a decent standard, good passing at times.

    "Here, it's a lot more flair, a lot more skilful players. It's quick football here. It's the best players around."

    Yallop is using the Gold Cup to pour the foundation of the team he hopes to build for qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

    Canada, No. 85 in the world, is the lowest ranked team in Group B, which also includes the United States (ranked 10th), Costa Rica (24th) and Cuba (70th).

    Although Canada is clearly the underdog, Dodds thinks the team has enough bite to advance to the second round of the tournament.

    "We have quite a young team," he said. "The chemistry and team moral is good.

    "Everybody gets along and we have a good laugh. We think we have a real good chance of going to the next round."
  4. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Re: Canada Gold Cup Stories

    Canada loses Gold Cup opener
    Costa Rica scores on penalty kick

    Canada goal keeper Greg Sutton, right, tries to stop Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz (9) on a first half shot on goal Thursday, in a CONCACAF Gold Cup game in Seattle. Sutton knocked it away. (AP/Elaine Thompson)

    SEATTLE (CP) - Costa Rica scored on a penalty kick in the first half to defeat Canada 1-0 Thursday, putting Frank Yallop's national team in exactly the spot they didn't want to be at the Gold Cup tournament.

    Yallop had hoped for a good result against Costa Rica in the opening game of the tournament so his young side wouldn't feel their backs pushed against a wall when they face the powerful United States on Saturday.

    The talent gulf between the two sides was evident early as Costa Rica, ranked 24th in the world, dominated Canada, rated 85th. The Costa Ricans controlled the ball with crisp passes and patiently waited for plays to develop.

    The relentless pressure finally drew blood in the 30th minute.

    Referee Peter Prendergast of Jamaica called midfielder Patrice Bernier of Montreal for a hand ball. Jafet Soto made no mistake on the penalty kick, using a stroke of his left leg to lift the ball into the corner over goaltender Greg Sutton's outstretched fingers.

    Canadian captain Kevin McKenna strenuously argued the referee's call, earning a yellow card for his efforts. Late in the second half he picked up a second yellow for a tackle on Steven Bryce.

    That meant Canada finished the game with 10 players and McKenna will miss Saturday's game.

    Atiba Hutchinson also was shown a yellow after pulling down a Costa Rican player.

    Costa Rica almost struck again in the second half when Dany Fonseca blasted a shot off the cross bar.

    Yallop is using the Gold Cup to assess talent and build a team that will play in qualification games in 2008 for the 2010 World Cup. Seven members of his starting lineup had nine or less international caps

    Canada desperately needs is an offensive threat. Someone that combines speed with ball handling, who can turn a game with a brilliant play. Think Dany Heatley in cleats.

    Midfielder Jim Brennan, who plays with Norwich City of the English League Championship, showed some flair in the second half, working his way across the field then firing a ball that forced keeper Jose Porras into a diving save.

    Late in the first half striker Dwayne de Rosario of the MLS San Jose Earthquakes deked behind the Costa Rican defence and had nothing but daylight between him and the goal.

    He fired a high shot that looked more like a field goal attempt. The play left de Rosario holding his head in his hands.

    Only a few fans were in place at the 68,000-seat Qwest Field, home of the NFL Seattle Seahawks, at the start of the game. A small Canadian contingent chanted and waved Maple Leafs.

    After playing the U.S., ranked 10th in the world, Saturday at Qwest Field, Canada wraps up the tournament's preliminary round Tuesday against No. 70 Cuba at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

    The 12-team Gold Cup tournament is for the championship of CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

    The top two teams of each of the three groups advance to the next round, plus the two best third-place teams.

    Canada won the tournament in 2000 and finished third in 2002.

    Costa Rica beat Canada twice last year as the Canadians failed to qualify for next year's World Cup in Germany.

    Notes: A Seattle newspaper listed Canada's nickname as the Maple Leafs, much to the surprise of Canadian team officials. . . . Midfielder Patrick Leduc of Montreal, who plays with the USL Montreal Impact, earned his first international cap Thursday. . . . Defender Gabriel Gervais, of Brossard, Que., another member of the Impact, missed the game with a groin injury he aggravated in Saturday's friendly against Honduras. . . . Forward Olivier Occean, also of Brossard, who plays in the Norwegian Premier Division, sat out the game with a suspension after being sent off against Guatemala during Canada's final World Cup qualifying game in November.
  5. Captain Canuck

    Captain Canuck New Member

    May 13, 2002
    Re: Canada Gold Cup Stories

    Neil Davidson come back! What a horrible CP write-up, perhaps he could write about the whole game next time and not just the first half.
  6. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Canada loses to U.S.
    Cdns blanked 2-0 at Gold Cup soccer tournament

    Canada's Adrian Serioux makes a bicycle kick against the United States in the second game of pool play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in Seattle Saturday. (AP/John Froschauer)

    SEATTLE (CP) - Bad luck stalked Canada again in a 2-0 loss to the United States on Saturday, but it's the national soccer team's inability to score goals that has strained their chances of advancing to the second round of the Gold Cup tournament.

    An own goal in the 48th minute put coach Frank Yallop's young side on its heels after playing some gritty defence. The Americans iced the game when Landon Donovan scored off a header in injury time.

    The loss extended Canada's 20-year losing streak against the U.S. and left Yallop's squad winless after two games in Group B play at the Gold Cup.

    Canada must defeat Cuba in their next match Tuesday to keep alive any hope of moving onto the next round of the tournament.

    Canada, ranked 75 places behind the No. 10 Americans in the world rankings, managed to hold their own for over half of Saturday's game until fate took a hand.

    U.S. midfielder John O'Brien took an innocent looking shot. Defender Atiba Hutchinson headed the ball, causing it to change direction into the net, past keeper Greg Sutton's outstretched hand.

    Yallop was left wondering what his team has done to offend the soccer gods.

    "I think I've run over a black cat or something," said Yallop.

    "I don't know what's happening.

    "It never helps when you concede a goal, especially an own goal. It was just one of those unfortunate things it goes in the net when were doing OK in the game."

    Any angry Sutton fired his water bottle on the field after the goal.

    "We can't seem to get the right breaks," said the keeper who plays for the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer League.

    "Playing against a team like this you can't have those things happen. You can't be too disappointed in our play. Even at the end we had chances to tie the game."

    As time ticked away in the game the Canadians pressed for the tying goal. Both Ali Gerba, off a pass from Jaime Peters, and Sandro Grande missed the net on good chances.

    Scoring has been a problem for the Canada. The team hasn't registered a goal this tournament and has been outscored 17-7 in its last 11 games.

    "We've played well enough to get goals but we can't seem to get the final touch, the correct ball into the box that will give us that goal we so desperately deserve," said Yallop.

    "The guys are trying their best to do it."

    Canada showed some good ball movement against the Americans. The passing was crisp, but mostly around the perimeter.

    When the forwards tried to penetrate the rock-solid U.S. defence they were foiled like nails being pounded into brick.

    "They are solid on the back and hold their position very well," said striker Dwayne de Rosario.

    "We were trying to get around them as much as possible. We did have our chances to finish."

    U.S. goaltender Kasey Keller, voted the player of the game, said Canada didn't give up.

    "We missed some good chances," he said.

    "We let Canada stay in the game to the end and that is frustrating."

    The Gold Cup determines the championship of CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. The 12-team tournament is divided into three divisions of four teams.

    Earlier Saturday, Costa Rica beat Cuba 3-1.

    The U.S. and Costa Rica are tied on top of Group B with 2-0-0 records and six points in the standings, where a win is worth three points and tie one. Canada and Cuba are both 0-2-0 for no points.

    Canada wraps up the preliminary round against Cuba at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

    Yallop admitted his team has its back against the wall.

    "It doesn't look great for us," he said.

    "Hopefully we can get the win, get some help, and move into the next stage."

    The top two teams from each of the three groups, plus the two third-place teams with the best records, advance to the second round.

    A crowd of 15,109 watched the game, leaving plenty of empty seats among the 68,000 at Qwest Field, home of the NFL Seattle Seahawks. A small contingent of Canadian fans, dressed in red and draped in matching scarves, waved Maple Leaf flags.

    Canada lost 1-0 to Costa Rica, ranked 24th in the world, Thursday in the opening game of the Gold Cup.

    Costa Rica's goal came off a penalty kick on a disputed handball call in the 30th minute.

    The last time the Canadian men beat the U.S. was April 2, 1985. In the 11 meetings since Canada is 0-6-5.

    The Americans are now 18-0-0 in first round game since the inception of the Gold Cup in 1991.

    The Gold Cup championship game will be July 24 at Giants Stadium.
  7. schafer

    schafer Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    What an unlucky game. If the pitch had been better, Sutton may have gotten to the own goal, might have been a different story. As a whole, Canada played very well, and Serioux, prior to the sending off, was having a very good game. Simpson made some great runs in the first half, but nothing in the second. Hutchinson did very well other than the own goal, considering he doesn't usually play CB, and Peters made a nice run after coming on.

    How did Donovan not get sent off?!! He slapped a guy in the face, two feet away from the ref, ffs!!!! Some refs would've given red if he had missed, but somehow he only gets yellow.
  8. Captain Canuck

    Captain Canuck New Member

    May 13, 2002
    Yes, it is indeed a shame that in two games we've lost on a penalty that wasn't and a flukey own goal. The third goal we gave up in this tourney was scored by a player who shouldn't have been on the pitch. Not the greatest luck, but having said that......

    We need to put the ball in the net, or the most we can hope for are 0-0 draws. We've had chances to do so and more opportunities to create more chances and haven't taken them. The US defending wasn't all that good in this match, had Canada just played the final ball better on numerous occasions we would been a hell of a lot more dangerous. We were starting to get it in gear when our own player got sent off.

    Too bad that Hume was injured for this game, that we were missing McKenna and that for some reason Grande didn't start ahead of Leduc.
  9. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Against the wall
    Canada could get booted in Gold Cup

    Canada's Adam Braz, left and Gabriel Gervais argue with a referee on a yellow card call against Canada during the first half of the game against the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in Seattle Saturday. (AP/John Froschauer)

    SEATTLE (CP) - Canada is facing elimination at the Gold Cup, but all coach Frank Yallop can do is preach patience and perseverance. Losses in their first two games of the tournament - including a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the U.S. Saturday - means Canada must beat Cuba for any chance to advance to the second round of the tournament.

    A win would give Canada three points and third place in Group B of the 12-team tournament. Even then, the Canadians must hope they have one of the two best third-place records to move on.

    "We don't have it in our hands," said goalkeeper Greg Sutton before boarding a plane Sunday to Boston, where Canada plays Cuba on Tuesday night.

    "We have to go out and win and just hope things work out and we get a break. I think we're bound to get some breaks. That's the way football goes."

    Yallop's young team, ranked 85th in the world, hasn't scored a goal in the tournament. It's been over a year since the team has scored more than one goal in a game.

    Yallop chose his Gold Cup squad with the hope of laying the foundation to build a team that can qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

    So far the team has shown impressive grit, a strong work ethic and good shape on defensive.

    Offensively, they move the ball well with crisp passing.

    What the side lacks is a reliable scorer - someone with a touch around the net and the offensive flair to score the big goal when its needed.

    "That final piece of the puzzle is missing now," Yallop admitted.

    Knowing what he needs is one thing. Finding that player is another.

    "There's not some guy playing for Chelsea that's a Canadian and is a forward," said Yallop. "These guys are the best we've got."

    What Yallop doesn't want is for his players to become frustrated. He's convinced Canada is playing a style that will eventually produce results.

    "What I want these guys to do is not give up on what we are doing," he said. "We could change it (the style) and start smashing it long and hoping we get a break. That's not what we're about.

    "I want to build a program where we learn how to play soccer and we know how to compete in this region."

    Striker Dwayne de Rosario is convinced that despite some stumbles, the Canadians are walking the right path. He thinks the answer is more time playing together.

    "We're still trying to get accustomed to each other and knowing each other's style of playing and reading each other," said de Rosario, who plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.

    "The only way we can do that is playing the games. This tournament was kind of early for us as a rebuilding stage. We've created chances. That final pass wasn't there but I feel that's because we haven't played enough games together."

    Sutton, who has played five games with the national team, said the moulding into shape has begun.

    "I think the composure is a lot better over the last few games," said the keeper, who helped the Montreal Impact win the United Soccer League championship last season.

    "It's tough when you have a bunch of young guys with very little international experience. We're starting to build on what we came here to do, to try to jell as a unit and look forward to the future.

    "We can't be too disappointed."

    Fate also hasn't been kind to the Canadians this tournament.

    They opened with a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in a game decided with a penalty kick from a questionable call by the referee. In that game, de Rosario and midfielder Jim Brennan both missed golden scoring chances.

    Against the U.S., Canada was holding its own against the 10th-ranked team in the world, until an own goal in the 48th minute put Yallop's squad on their heels. The Americans didn't put the match away until Landon Donovan scored off a header in injury time.

    Young defenceman Gabriel Gervais said it's up to Canada to start creating its own luck.

    "We can't say we're cursed," said Gervais. "We have to get this monkey off our back and keep going and qualify for the second round with a good result against Cuba."

    The U.S. and Costa Rica are tied on top of Group B with 2-0-0 records and six points in the standings, where a win is worth three points and tie one. Canada and Cuba, ranked 70th in the world, are both 0-2-0 for no points.

    The U.S. and Costa Rica also play Tuesday.

    The Gold Cup determines the championship of CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

    Canada will be without Adrian Serioux for the Cuba game. Serioux was sent off from Saturday's game after taking two yellow cards and must sit out the next match.

    The Gold Cup championship game will be July 24 at Giants Stadium.
  10. Canadian_Supporter

    Staff Member

    Dec 20, 1999
    Prostějov, CR
    Nat'l Team:
    and this was against Belize....

  11. Joe MacCarthy

    Joe MacCarthy New Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Canada wins, loses
    Won't advance at Gold Cup

    Canada's Dwayne De Rosario (14) beats Cuba's Enrique Villaurrutia for the ball during the first half of their CONCACAF Gold Cup match in Foxboro, Mass. Tuesday, July 12, 2005. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    FOXBORO, Mass. (CP) - Canada defeated Cuba 2-1 at the Gold Cup on Tuesday, but barring a miracle the victory won't be enough to prevent an early exit from the CONCACAF championship.

    The Canadians (1-2-0) needed to win by at least three goals to have any chance of surviving the first round. They made it close, scoring in the 87th minute to come within one goal of their target but Cuba's Alain Cervantes knocked in a rebound on a counter-attack to end the Canadian charge. A 3-0 win and Canada and Colombia would have drawn lots to see who moved on to the quarter-finals.

    "We won, and that's always good," said Canadian coach Frank Yallop. "So no we didn't score enough goals to go through, but what I've got to make sure is we take the good things out of the match. We created a ton of chances, I thought we played very well in the three games we had, and in the end, that's going to take us to another level we need to get to."

    Mathematically the Canadians are still in the tournament, but the only way they could advance is if Mexico loses to Jamaica by six goals Wednesday.

    Despite a late surge that showed character, the Canadians only have themselves to blame after missing a bushel of earlier chances.

    Canada, ranked 85th in the world to No. 70 for Cuba, completely dominated the game but failed to convert all but two of its many chances. The Canadians often simply misfired and when they did hit the target, goalkeeper Alexis Rene Aviles was usually there to make the save.

    "I think that's the story of the tournament, really," said Yallop. "For the number of chances we've created in three of the games, we haven't scored enough goals.

    "One good thing about it, we got a win in the last game, we dominated a team that had done pretty well in the other two games, except for late in the game, and I felt that we should have scored at least three or four goals."

    The first goal came in the 69th minute when striker Ali Gerba got a foot to a wicked cross from the left and poked it over Aviles as the goalie came out for the ball. Canada threw everything at the Cubans in the dying minutes, which made for a wild finale, and Atiba Hutchinson made it 2-0 with a long-range shot in the 87th minute.

    Adding insult to injury, Canadian manager Frank Yallop was dispatched to the stands with less than 10 minutes remaining and the score 1-0, ejected for criticizing one of the officials.

    Cuban striker Lester More, with a nice turn to beat his marker, missed a chance to tie it at 1-1 minutes earlier when Greg Sutton made a fine fingertip save.

    The door to the quarter-finals had been opened a crack earlier in the day when Colombia defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in Miami, keeping Canada mathematically alive. A Trinidad win would have all but eliminated the Canadians, with Wednesday's Group C games making it official.

    The 2-0 Colombia win meant Canada needed to beat Cuba by at least a three-goal margin to have a chance of advancing as one of the two best third-place finishers in the first round. The top two teams in each of the three preliminary-round groups also move into the quarter-finals.

    Scoring at least three goals was always going to be a reach. Canada has scored three or more just four times in its last 80 matches and those came against lowly Belize (twice), Libya and Switzerland.

    Still Canada had the chances to win by the necessary margin. But there are very few goals in this toothless squad.

    In earlier Group B action, the U.S. tied Costa Rica 0-0. At 2-0-1, both teams move on to the final eight with the Americans winning the group on goal difference.

    In the other Group A game in Miami, Honduras defeated Panama 1-0 to finish top of the pool at 2-0-1. Panama (1-1-1) also progresses, as does Colombia (1-2-0).

    Group C wraps up first-round play Wednesday in Houston with Guatemala (0-2-0) taking on South Africa (1-0-1) and Mexico (1-1-0) playing Jamaica (1-0-1). Guatemala, which has lost its first two games, should be the odd team out barring some kind of bizarre score.

    It looks like the second Gold Cup in a row that Canada has failed to survive the first round. In 2003, the team finished 1-1-0 and was knocked out on goal differential after a 2-0 loss to Cuba. Manager Holger Osieck, who had led the team to the title at the 2000 Gold Cup and third place in 2002, resigned soon after.

    Needing a win, some goals and help from some other teams, Yallop started an attacking team with three strikers: Dwayne De Rosario, Olivier Occean and Gerba.

    And the Canadians came out pressing, taking the game to a modest Cuba side. But the offence fizzled every time the next beckoned.

    After 45 minutes, it could have been 3-0. Instead it was 0-0 and the Canadian coaching staff looked like they needed a stiff drink.

    In the 20th minute, Occean could only manage to poke a Gerba cross at the Cuban goalkeeper, who gratefully batted the ball away with his right hand. Eight minutes later a Gerba goal was ruled offside.

    In the 31st minute, Occean missed a gilt-edged chance when he was in on goal but fired a left-footed shot wide with the goalie beaten. And in the 35th minute, Gerba deflected the ball wide after a sharp cross by De Rosario.

    Early in the second half, De Rosario slyly tried directing the ball in the net off a corner using his hand. It worked but the referee saw it and called a foul.

    The Canadian team was missing several top players in Tomasz Radzinski (Fulham), Paul Stalteri (Tottenham) and Julian de Guzman (Deportivo La Coruna).

    A disputed penalty against Costa Rica and an own goal against the U.S. didn't help either in earlier games.

    But the Canadians didn't help matters with first defender Kevin McKenna and then midfielder Adrian Serioux being sent off for accumulation of yellow cards in the first two games.

    Add that to a lack of offence and a quick exit proved to be inevitable.

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