Canadians Do Themsleves Proud in Belfast

Canada’s Men’s National Team turned overcame playing a man down for nearly 70 minutes and terrible playing conditions as they battled to a memorable 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in an international friendly at Windsor Park in Belfast on Wednesday.



Playing in what felt like gale force winds at times and in a continuous swirlist mist, Canada found themselves down to 10 men after only 20 minutes when Gabriel Gervais was sent off for his second bookable offence when he was forced to foul in order to avoid a potential breakaway.



Minutes later, Jim Brennan delivered an inch perfect cross off a free kick to Olivier Occean who rose majestically and powered an unstoppable header past Northern Ireland goalkeeper Maik Tyalor.

Canada’s Men’s National Team turned overcame playing a man down for nearly 70 minutes and terrible playing conditions as they battled to a memorable 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in an international friendly at Windsor Park in Belfast on Wednesday.



Playing in what felt like gale force winds at times and in a continuous swirlist mist, Canada found themselves down to 10 men after only 20 minutes when Gabriel Gervais was sent off for his second bookable offence when he was forced to foul in order to avoid a potential breakaway.



Minutes later, Jim Brennan delivered an inch perfect cross off a free kick to Olivier Occean who rose majestically and powered an unstoppable header past Northern Ireland goalkeeper Maik Tyalor.



Canadian head coach Frank Yallop was thrilled with the performance and determination of his players. ”Considering the circumstances this is a tremendous result for us,” said Yallop. ”It is not easy to come to some of these countries and get a result but to do so in these conditions and playing a man down for as long as we did and to defend with the discipline and organization that we showed was fantastic.”



Yallop started Montreal Impact goalkeeper Greg Sutton and the A-League MVP was outstanding, turning in a composed and clean performance. The Northern Irish hit the woodwork in the first half and again in the dying seconds but Sutton snuffed out several crosses and his distribution in a ferocious wind was impressive.



Follwing Gervais’ dismissal, Yallop dropped Patrice Bernier to right back, alongside Kevin McKenna who captained the side and Marco Reda who made his senior debut when he replaced Atiba Hutchinson who was unable to play due to illness. Josh Simpson lined up at left back.



Dwayne de Rosario started up front alongside Occean but dropped in a central midfield role along side Daniel Imhof and Adrian Serioux. The three, along with Brennan, were heroic in their defending, continuously breaking up Northern Irish attacks and running themselves into the ground to track back and pressurize.



When McKenna went down early in the second half with a quad pull, Mike Klukowski stepped into the breach at centre half and quickly asserted himself with some excellent clearances. Iain Hume and Jaime Peters came on for thre tiring Brennan and Serioux in the last 10 minutes to help see out the game and share the spoils of a thoroughly impressive and inspiring victory.






Schedule & Results

Check out Canada Soccer’s Schedule & Results page where you can find upcoming match schedules and past results leading to highlights, photos, match data, and more.