Canada eliminated by defending U-20 champions
Posted on 21 February 2017 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-18 to U-20
Canada were eliminated at the 2017 CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship after an 0:5 loss to defending champions Mexico. Canada put forth a valiant effort, but were eventually stretched in a must-win situation on the second match day of the competition in Costa Rica.
Canada played well in the opener, but fell 0:1 to Honduras on the opening day. Their loss to Mexico, combined with the Honduras Monday win over Antigua & Barbuda, means Canada can only aim for third place in a tough Group A.
Canada will close group action on Thursday when they face Antigua & Barbuda at Estadio Saprissa. The match is scheduled to be broadcast live on CONCACAF's Facebook channel, kicking off at 18.00 ET / 15.00 PT. Canada Soccer will provide in-match coverage from Estadio Saprissa via Canada Soccer's digital channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Flickr.
"We need to regroup, recover, and respond in our tournament finale," said Rob Gale, Canada Soccer's Men's National U-20 Team Coach. "The first goal is critical in these games. Once we tried to chase the game, we got caught on the transition and that's when you are most vulnerable."
Mexico remain undefeated across all three CONCACAF men's youth competitions for 43 matches over nine years since 2009. They lead the way with 13 CONCACAF U-20 titles while Canada, Costa Rica and Honduras share second place with two U-20 titles each.
While qualification dreams for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 have ended, Canada will look to regroup to finish the CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship on a positive note. The group has shown a positive attitude throughout the competition and will look to build on the lessons learned throughout the two-year cycle.
Of note, Canada featured their four youngest players in the squad, all of whom will be eligible for the next CONCACAF cycle in 2019.
In 2017, Canada will compete in three CONCACAF men's youth competitions: the CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship in February, the CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship in April, and the CONCACAF Boys' Under-15 Championship in August.
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.