Canada to face Greece in 2011 soccer match

The Canadian Soccer Association has announced today that Canada will face Greece in a Men’s International Friendly match this coming year on 9 February 2011. The match will be played in Greece on what is scheduled as the first fixed date for friendly matches on the FIFA international calendar. The match will be part of Canada’s early preparations for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

"Whenever you play a FIFA World Cup™ team, it is a special occasion," said Canadian national head coach Stephen Hart. "It was also not that long ago that Greece was a European Champion, so the match will be challenging. Playing Greece in Greece will be good for us as we continue to develop as a team."

Earlier this year, Greece was one of 32 nations that took part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The European club won one of its three group matches, a 2:1 victory over Nigeria. For Greece, currently the 12th ranked country in the world, it was its second participation at a FIFA World Cup™ (1994 and 2010). Just six years ago, Greece won the European Championship at UEFA Euro 2004.

This will be Canada’s first trip to Greece. Canada previously faced Greece three times in 1988 – a Men’s International Friendly match in Montréal and then two competition matches in the Sir Matthews Cup in Toronto. In the 1988 Sir Matthews Cup final, Canada and Greece played to a 0:0 draw before Canada claimed the trophy with a 4-2 victory on kicks from the penalty mark.

Canada’s most recent international match was a 2:1 victory over FIFA World Cup™ participant Honduras on 7 September in Montréal. Canada’s next match will be played against Ukraine on 8 October in Kyiv (Valeriy Lobanosvskyi Stadium).

Under coach Stephen Hart, the Canadian team is building towards the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The team’s next major competition is the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will serve as the qualification route for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013.

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