Canada cool off Vincy Heat
Issey Nakajima-Farran opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, as Canada went on to beat Saint Vincent & The Grenadines 3-0 Sunday in the first leg of a two-match qualifying series for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Ali Gerba, who came on for the injured Rob Friend after only seven minutes, scored a pair of goals, with the first coming two minutes from the break and the second two minutes from fulltime.
It was only the second-ever meeting between the two countries following Canada's 2-0 victory at the Arnos Vale Playing Field in the early 1980's.
The return leg is set for Friday night at the Saputo Stadium in Montreal.
Seemingly unaffected by the afternoon's 30 degree heat, the Canadians never allowed the Vincentians to settle, taking control of the midfield with ease, as Julian de Guzman, captain Paul Stalteri and Tomasz Radzinski all combined with short passes to overcome the steamy conditions.
"We knew that the heat would be a factor, but our intention was to play at a comfortable pace and keep control of the ball," said Canadian head coach Dale Mitchell.
SVG, however, came close to taking the lead in the 27th minute, but Marlon James' low shot was saved by Pat Onstad's outstretched leg, while on the ground.
The visitors took the lead when Mike Klukowski involved de Guzman and Dwayne de Rosario before ending with Nakajima-Farran hitting a right-foot shot past SVG goalkeeper Melvin Andrews.
The nimble Gerba made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute when he collected a pass from de Guzman, and with the SVG defenders appealing for offside, he struck the ball low to Andrews' left-hand side.
De Rosario once more breached the defence and quickly played the ball to Gerba, who calmly slotted home the third goal in the 88th minute.
James, who was the leading scorer in the Malaysian Football League, was stifled by Canada's Adrian Serioux, allowing him little space throughout the match.
The Canadians had found the back of the net again in the 60th minute through Gerba, but this time, it was ruled offside.
Patrice Bernier replaced de Guzman in the 73rd minute and Jim Brennan came on for Radzinski with five minutes remaining.
De Rosario came close to scoring in the 12th minute, but only succeeded in hitting the ball wide from the edge of the box.
18.Pat Onstad; 3.Mike Klukowski, 5.Adrian Serioux, 11. Richard Hastings, 7.Paul Stalteri; 6.Julian de Guzman (15.Patrice Bernier 73'), 12.Issey Nakajima-Farran, 13.Atiba Hutchinson, 9.Tomasz Radzinski (2.Jim Brennan 85'); 14.Dwayne de Rosario, 16.Rob Friend (10.Ali Gerba 7')
SAINT VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
1.Melvin Andrews (18.Jolanshoy McDowald 46'); 2.Roy Richards (4.Troy Jeffers 40'), 3.Cornelius Huggins, 6.Wesley Charles, 7.Darren Francis, 8.Richard Hayde, 9.Marlon James, 11.Kendall Velox, 14.Randolph Williams, 15.Shane Glynn (10.Shandel Samuel 64'), 17.George Emerald