NASHVILLE, TN, U.S.A. – Canada picked up a point in a 0:0 draw with El Salvador in the opening match of the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament. The two sides were even after 90 minutes, with both sides unable to capitalize on the few chances created. The 22 March match was played at LP Field in Nashville, TN.
Goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz was Canada’s man of the match, coming up with a couple of big saves in the first half to stop a dangerous Salvadorian attack.
"He made two great saves and he kept us in the game," said coach Tony Fonseca. "That’s his job. He came up big and we appreciate that."
In the 12th minute, Misiewicz stoped a shot by Isidro Gutiérrez. Eight minutes later, he made another big save on Andrés Flores.
Canada also had its chances in the first half. In the 30th minute, Carl Haworth put in a neat little through ball for Shaun Saiko to come in and blast from the top of the box. The shot, however, went high. A couple of minutes later, Haworth had a shot of his own, but it was stopped by Salvadorian goalkeeper Yimmy Cuéllar.
In the second half, El Salvador created more chances, but Misiewicz and the Canadian defence stood the test. In the 79th minute, Sherif El-Masri had what could have been the best chance of the second half, but he missed the target with the tight-angle shot.
El Salvador fired 13 shots in the match, only three of which were on target and needed to be stopped by Misiewicz. Both sides won six corner kicks each, with four of Canada’s six corners coming in the first half.
Canada’s starting XI featured Michal Misiewicz in goal, Matt Stinson at right back, Drew Beckie and captain Nana Attakora at centre back, Russell Teibert at left back, and Kyle Bekker, Bryce Alderson, Shaun Saiko, Marcus Haber, Carl Haworth and Evan James from the midfield up through to the attack.
In the second half, coach Fonseca’s three substitutions were Saiko off for Randy Edwini-Bonsu (54th minute), James off for Sherif El-Masri (60′), and Alderson off for Philippe Davies (75′).
El Salvador’s starting XI featured Yimmy Cuéllar in goal, Alexander Mendoza at right back, Milton Molina and captain Xavier García at centre back, Alexander Larín at right back, and Elman Rivas, Jaime Alas, Richard Menjívar, Isidro Gutiérrez, Léster Blanco and Andrés Flores from the midfield up through to the attack.
In the second half, coach Mauricio Alfaro switched Rivas off for Darwin Cerén (46′), Gutiérrez off for Dustin Corea (62′), and Blanco off for Jonathan Águila.
While Elman Rivas was booked for El Salvador, Drew Beckie, Carl Haworth and Nana Attakora all drew yellow cards in the second half. A player that accumulates two yellow cards in the tournament will receive a one-match suspension.
Of note, Canada’s starting XI featured nine players that have played for one of Canada’s four professional teams, be it Impact Montréal, Toronto FC, FC Edmonton or Vancouver Whitecaps FC (seven of which currenly play for one of those four teams).
The Canada-El Salvador match was the first of three matches in five days for the group phase of the competition. Following the 22 March match, Canada will face USA on 24 March. Attendance for the Canada-El Salvador match at LP Field was 4,269.
GK- Adam Janssen | USA / Minnesota Stars
GK- Michal Misiewicz | CAN / FC Edmonton
GK- Simon Thomas | ENG / Huddersfield Town
D- Nana Attakora | USA / San Jose Earthquakes
D- Drew Beckie | USA / University of Denver
D- Sherif El-Masri | SIN / Courts Young Lions
D- Andrés Fresenga | URU / Racing Club de Montevideo
D- Tristan Grant | URU / Club Nacional
D- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Matt Stinson | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Bryce Alderson | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
M- Kyle Bekker | USA / Boston College
M- Philippe Davies | Unattached / sans club
M- Mozesh Gyorio | USA / Sporting Kansas City
M- Evan James | CAN / Impact Montréal
M- Samuel Piette | FRA / FC Metz
M- Shaun Saiko | CAN / FC Edmonton
M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
F- Lucas Cavallini | URU / Club Nacional
F- Marcus Haber | SCO / St. Johnstone FC
F- Carl Haworth | CAN / Impact Montréal
F- Kyle Porter | CAN / FC Edmonton
F- Babayele Sodade | USA / Seattle Sounders
Canadian Soccer Association
Leading Canada to victory and Canadians to a life-long passion for soccer
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