CSA & Whitecaps FC
Canada’s men’s national team began 2008 on a winning note with a 1-0 friendly win over hosts Martinique.
Head coach Dale Mitchell included the Vancouver Whitecaps pair of midfielder Martin Nash and centre back Adrian Cann in his starting XI at the Stade Louis-Achille in Fort-de-France. While Nash was making his 38th international appearance for Canada, Cann claimed his first senior cap for his country on Wednesday evening.
Canada claimed victory on the Caribbean island through Houston Dynamo striker Dwayne de Rosario, who struck the game’s only goal on 25 minutes. The visitors had numerous chances, including two off a pair of crosses from Dave Simpson that would have sealed the contest.
The result was Canada’s second win over Martinique, with their last result being a penalty shootout success in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup finals. Canada’s first-ever encounter with Martinique ended in a 1-1 draw at the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The win was also Canada’s first since their 3-0 quarterfinal success over Guatemala in last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup finals.
Wednesday’s friendly comes after Mitchell had put his North American-based players through their paces during a January training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 19-man squad have been training twice a day since early last week, as Canada prepare to meet Saint Vincent & the Grenadines in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying this coming June. The squad is due to travel to St. Lucia on Thursday for a day of training before heading back to Florida.
Mitchell is expected to use many of his European-based players when Canada play their next game of 2008 - a March 26 friendly away to Estonia.