Team Canada after game three

So I like writing about soccer and I’m gonna keep doing it. Canada played their third game today. They proved several things and also gave away a late goal that caused other questions to arise about them.

John Herdman’s changes to the squad were stellar and showed immediately. The man knows how to coach and seems like a lovely fella in general. We Canadians like him. They got the goal they needed and showed that they can generate changes. They should have put away a couple more than they did and you got the sense that it would be nice if they did. Alas, one goal is often enough. That’s all they really need to be able to do. Like before they can generate opportunities. They just need to keep putting them away when they matter. Hopefully they get sharper and more precise. A ball next to the next does not a game win.

It was a fun first half to watch. They looked like the high quality potentially tournament winning eighth ranked in the world squad we are told they are. They controlled the game and generated lots of chances.

Then they let it go a bit at the end. Thanks to superb goal tending and a bit of luck only one went in but still. It’s a sour note to end a game that they were good for so much of.

And they did win their group. A group that before today averaged less than a goal a game. A group my dad called the do just enough group. They did enough. Not quite enough for a comfortable wonderful moment of celebration at the final whistle but enough to win the group. Which they did win their group. Despite all of the questions and wonders they are top of their group and did enough in each game to get a result that worked for them. Not a decisive result but enough. It was also the best result they’ve had as a team in the world cup. Congrats to them on that.

Then there’s the reality of tournament soccer that many Canadians are now discovering. If you get better each game and find a way to do just enough to keep moving along you might just win the thing. They are getting better each match. Maybe next time they’ll score two goals and have half as many defensive break downs.

It was fun to watch until right at the very end.

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