HOUSTON, TX – A young Canadian side put in a mature performance to earn a 0:0 draw against USA in a Men's International Friendly at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday night.
Former Whitecaps FC residency keeper and current trialist Simon Thomas earned a clean sheet in his first start, while #VWFC Homegrown midfielder Russell Teibert played 89 minutes on the left wing.
OPTA Chalkboard: Canada holds firm in defense to deny USA
After a season-opening loss to Denmark, Interim head coach, and former Whitecaps FC assistant coach, Colin Miller was pleased with the way his players responded against the Americans.
"We were disappointed with aspects of our performance on Saturday but the boys showed everything you would expect of Canadian football in terms of heart, passion and endeavour tonight," Miller told CanadaSoccerTV after the match in Houston. "I'm very proud of the players, everyone has been totally committed since I've arrived."
The Americans had a number of chances of their own and put Canada under pressure, particularly during portions of the second half, but the Canadians held firm to earn the draw in front of a crowd 11,737 at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Nik Ledgerwood created the early chance for Canadian captain Dwayne De Rosario when he crossed a ball deep in to the US area in the 6th minute. De Rosario extended his run to collect the ball before thumping a volley on goal – which keeper Johnson had to scramble to beat away.
Chris Wondolowski had USA’s first chance on target after some good interplay from the Americans in the build-up. Wondolowski hit a strike from range which was well saved by Thomas.
Canada worked an impressive free-kick routine in the 39th minute which eventually led to a diagonal ball deep into the box. De Rosario led the charge into the area, but just couldn’t reach it in time to finish from close range.
Wondolowski then answered back with a headed attempt following a cross from the right – but his effort sailed over the bar.
Wondolowski had another chance early in the second half as he hit an effort just wide following a blocked cross by Dejan Jakovic.
It was De Rosario, again, who then had Canada’s best chance of the second half when connected with a free kick delivery from Teibert – but the captain’s header missed just wide at the near post.
The Americans had a flurry of decent chances to equalize in the final half hour – but the Canadian back-line held firm to see through the 90 minutes at nil-nil.
Canada started the match with Simon Thomas in goal; Nik Ledgerwood, Nana Attakora, Dejan Jakovic and Ashtone Morgan across the back line; Terry Dunfield, Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault and Kyle Bekker in midfield; and Tosaint Ricketts, Russell Teibert and Dwayne De Rosario (captain) across the attacking line.
Matthew Stinson, Doneil Henry, Frank Jonke (first cap for Canada), Evan James and Kyler Poter entered the match in the second half.
Ashtone Morgan and Nik Ledgerwood both received yellow cards in the 78th and 79th minute respectively.
USA started the match with Sean Johnson in goal; Justin Morrow, Tony Beltran, Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez across the back-line; Kyle Beckerman (captain), Graham Zusi, Brad Evans, Brad Davis in midfield; and Eddie Johnson and Chris Wondolowski up front.
Benny Feilhaber, Alfredo Morales, Juan Agudelo, Alejandro Bedoya, Joshua Gatt and Will Bruin entered the match in the second half.
Check out the lineups and stats
Canada's next scheduled fixture is a Men's International Friendly against Japan to take place in Doha, Qatar on 22 March.