Canada U-17 soccer team qualifies for quarter-final stage

Canada won its opening match at the 2011 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Canada won big by the score of 8:0 over group opponent Barbados at Jarrett Park on Thursday 17 February. Canada scored five times in the first half before adding three more goals in the second half.

Michael Petrasso led the way with a hat trick while Keven Aleman scored two of his own. Sadi Jalali, Chris Nanco and Wesley Cain rounded out the scoring for Canada. Goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau along with his back four defenders Marco Lapenna, Ismaïl Benomar, Daniel Stanese and Parker Seymour helped provide the clean sheet.

"It was great to get a victory like that, it’s great to get some goals and create chances like that," said Canadian U-17 head coach Sean Fleming. "It is of course just the first match of the tournament, so we have to put it into the proper perspective. We know we still have a lot more work to do."

Along with Crépeau, Lapenna, Benomar, Stanese and Seymour, Canada’s starting XI featured Bryce Alderson, Samuel Piette, Chris Nanco, Michael Petrasso, Keven Aleman and Sadi Jalali. Substitutes in the second half were Dylan Carreiro, Wesley Cain and Shadrack Mmunga.

Canada was on the attack from the get go and captain Bryce Alderson had a good crack on net in the seventh minute. A few minutes later, Petrasso nearly set up a goal with a cross on the ground right through the goal area. Then in the 12th minute, some communication problems in the back end led to the Petrasso goal for a 1-0 Canada lead. Several Canadians were on the ground to ensure the ball was going in, but Petrasso was deemed the last player to touch it and he was credited the goal.

Just two minutes later, Jalali made it 2-0 with a shot from the top left of the box to the opposite top corner. Keven Aleman had started the play on the right side before crossing it over to Stanese on the left who played it to Jalali. Jalali made no mistake with his shot..

Canada nearly made it 3-0 in the 21st minute with a nice play off a free kick. With several Canadians hovering over the ball, the ball was touched to Stanese who fired a shot on net. Barbados goalkeeper Joshua Hynam made the save.

In the 23rd minute, Seymour made a cross from the left and the onrushing Nanco chested the ball ahead and past Hynam. Nanco also rushed past the goalkeeper and added a final touch to make sure it was 3-0.

In the 29th minute, it was Petrasso again as he made the score 4-0.

Putting the final touch on a Canadian build up, Petrasso slid the ball past Hynam and into the Barbadian goal.

Four minutes later, Petrasso made the delivery to make it 5-0 Canada.

Petrasso made the cross to Aleman who put it in from the middle of the box.Aleman actually had an earlier chance dead on in the middle on a cross from a corner kick. That shot was saved. In the second half, however, Aleman beat the goalkeeper to make it 6-0 for Canada in the 48th minute.

With Hynam well off his line, Aleman made the right decision to lob the shot over the goalkeeper and into the net.In the 56th minute, Petrasso scored a wonderful goal from within the box with a shot he just fired into the top corner of the net. Petrasso had plenty of passing options at his feet, but he decided to press on a few more strides before firing the ball on goal.

Canada’s offence had one final goal, this one in the 73rd minute by substitute Wesley Cain. Cain fired a left-footed shot that completed the victory at 8-0.

Canada’s three substitutions in the second half were Carreiro in the 58th minute, Cain in the 69th minute, and Mmunga in the 75th minute. Those three players replaced Aleman, Petrasso and Piette.

Barbados starting XI featured Joshua Hynam in goal, captain Amal Mayers as a sweeper, Dayo Ward, Akeem Maloney, Raheem Thomas and Romario Watson from left to right along the back, Nathanael Maynard, Romario Griffith and Jabarry Chandler at midfield, and Zari Prescod and Diquan Adamson up front. The three Barbados substitutes were Shane Sealy (for Thomas), Romario Harewood (for Maloney), goalkeeper Ramon Hackett (for injured Hynam late in the match).

Canada’s next group match is Saturday 19 February against Honduras. Of note, Canada was not assessed any disciplinary action in the match against Barbados. Honduras, on the other hand, was assessed four yellow cards in the 2:1 victory on 15 February against Barbados. Yellow cards will not be cleared after the group phase, so any player that accumulates two yellow cards (or a single red card) during the CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship will be assessed a one-match suspension.In the Canada-Barbados match, Canada outshot its opponent 28-3. Canada also won all seven corner kicks in the match.

Today’s 8:0 victory was Canada’s biggest margin of victory at the CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship since 2 November 1994 in San Salvador. That year, Canada opened with a 10:0 victory over Nicaragua. That year also marked the last time Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup (Japan 1995).

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