Canada’s men’s national team fell 0:3 to FYR Macedonia on Saturday afternoon in the first of two international friendly matches during its European camp. Bulgarian referee Anton Genov awarded four penalty kicks in the match, two to each team. Macedonian star Goran Pandev converted both of his side’s spot kicks while Canada failed to score on either of their opportunities.
Canada’s men’s national team fell 0:3 to FYR Macedonia on Saturday afternoon in the first of two international friendly matches during its European camp. Bulgarian referee Anton Genov awarded four penalty kicks in the match, two to each team. Macedonian star Goran Pandev converted both of his side’s spot kicks while Canada failed to score on either of its opportunities.
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The performance of the Macedonian team in the first half was enough to win the match, said head coach Stephen Hart. Macedonia was very strong on its set plays and on its corners. In the second half, we played marginally better; I felt our rhythm improved.
Second-half substitute Goce Sedloski opened the scoring in the 47th minute, powering a header past Canadian goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar. That the first half had remained scoreless was a testament to the strong play of Wagenaar, who made several quality stops to deny the Macedonians who dominated the opening half.
Canada responded well after going a goal down and had an excellent opportunity to even the match when it earned a penalty in the 55th minute. Iain Hume, who was excellent in the passage of play leading to the penalty, stepped forward to take the kick. Unfortunately for Canada, Hume dragged his effort wide of the Macedonian net.
In the 59th minute Paul Stalteri was harshly judged to have fouled a Macedonian attacker inside the Canadian box. Pandev expertly converted the opportunity, driving the ball into the bottom right of Wagenaar’s net, to make it 2-0 Macedonia.
Rob Friend earned Canada its second penalty kick of the game after being pulled down from behind when he looked certain to score from Mike Klukowski’s inch perfect cross. This time Simeon Jackson took the Canadian penalty, only to see his low drive well stopped by the Macedonian keeper.
Pandev closed out the scoring in extra time with his second goal of the game, again from the penalty spot.
Canada will not have to wait long for an opportunity to bounce back as it takes on Poland in four days time. Canada squad will charter to Bydgoszcz, Poland on Sunday morning to begin preparations ahead of the clash. The match will be played on Wednesday 18 November at the Stadiom Miejeski in Bydgoszcz and kicks off at 17.00 local time (11.00 ET / 08.00 PT).
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.