Daniel Stanese
Bob Frid

Residency youngsters help Canada U-17's win in Costa Rica

Canada's U-17 national team came from two goals down to defeat host Costa Rica 3-2 in a friendly match on Thursday.

Keven Aleman scored twice before defender Ismaïl Benomar scored the winner in the 82nd minute. The win over the Central Americans wrapped up the U-17 squad's latest training camp, as Canada prepare for next month's CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The tournament will qualify four nations to this year's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

Head coach Sean Fleming included the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency pair of Daniel Stanese and Bryce Alderson in his starting XI, while fellow Residency youngsters Adam Polakiewicz and Matteo Pasquotti appeared as substitutes.

"It was a great game, back and forth, yet we stuck to our game plan," Fleming told CanadaSoccer.com. "We really had some encouraging performances throughout the team."

It was Costa Rica's Raymond Salas and John Ruz who scored for the home side at Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in San José, Costa Rica. Salas made it 1-0 in the 24th minute, while Ruz made it 2-0 in the 56th minute. Salas had previously scored against Canada four days earlier in a 2-0 friendly win.

Aleman then scored his first of two goals for Canada on a free kick with just less than 30 minutes to play. Then in the 76th minute, Aleman made it 2-2 with a great shot from outside the box, hitting it directly into the top right-hand corner of the goal. "We were down by two, but the boys' heads stayed up," said Fleming. "Then it was even 2-2, but they wouldn't let up. We still kept on pressing."

In the 82nd minute, a Christopher Nanco throw-in was redirected by 14-year-old substitute Jordan Hamilton. Defender Benomar did his best impersonation of a forward and slipped the ball home for a 3-2 Canada victory.