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St Lucia 0 Canada 7. Record breakingly good.

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As I write this, I still haven't seen any of the official highlights (edit: here's highlights from Sportsnet, Simeon Jackson's hat trick, but none of the other goals), so just have tweets, the audio stream downloadable for posterity at this link, and this puppet interpretation to go by, but here's my initial thoughts on the game.

7-0!  Seven!  Biggest Canadian win ever!  I really wasn't expecting that at all, I mean St Lucia looked rough in the game in Toronto, but not 0-7 at home rough.  From the sounds of it, it could have been more, as St Lucia must have been playing a suicidally high line and bad offside trap, the commentary mentioned many instances of Canadian forwards been through 1 on 1 and getting as many as 4 man breakaways with just the goalie to beat.  As Iain Hume described it post game

They were holding that silly high line and they were running out and I think every time we got the ball we had a chance of breaking them down.

I'm very happy for Simeon Jackson, whose hat trick tied the record for most goals in a game by a Canadian international.  Obviously pretty much nothing should be read into a game like this, but if he and Iain Hume and Olivier Occean who also both scored twice can get some confidence and momentum going, that can only be a good thing.

Math fans will note that we've already got to 7 goals without mentioning Dwayne De Rosario, he was substituted without scoring so will now have a chance to break the all time scoring record in his home town against Puerto Rico, which would be a nice story.  I wouldn't bring TFC drama into a Canada game, and I feel like I'm more or less over all that anyway, so It would be nice to see him do that, even if I'm still not all that keen on how he plays for Canada.  He's still too selfish in my opinion, but if he does get the record, well good for him, he's been there for Canada for a long time now, and like his style or not, you can't deny he always wants to win, and tries his hardest to make that happen.

Ashtone Morgan made his debut, coming on as a second half substitute, and getting heavily involved with the attack, setting up one goal and creating other chances as well.  Obviously this means he is now cap tied to Canada, which is a very good thing, but mainly it's a very proud moment for him and a good sign of what the future can bring once TFC and the Whitecaps and Impact academies really start producing players on a consistent basis.  

The lone dark spot on the night was Will Johnson going off with what was reported as a sprained ankle.  He'll definitely miss Tuesday's game, but hopefully won't have to miss too much time for Real Salt Lake with the playoffs coming up soon. 

I'm definitely looking forward to being able to see some highlights, but I quite enjoyed just listening to the game.  We're very spoiled these days, being able to see so many games on so many channels, and nowadays even the fact that a TFC game isn't in HD brings forth grumbling on twitter, so it was nice to take a step back and remember those way back days when radio commentary really was the best you could hope for.  I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but having to use my imagination to provide pictures to go with the sound was actually kind of fun.  Many thanks to Max Bell of the CSA and Gavin Day of Red Nation Online for providing the commentary.

Like I said, it's not the sort of game you can read anything into really, and it seems like none of the players are, instead they're focusing on Tuesday's tougher game against Puerto Rico.  Here's some post game quotes, first up Stephen Hart.

I’m just happy to get the result. We showed a little faith in Simeon and he paid it back and I’m glad for him.

We’ve got a big game ahead in Toronto and the whole second half was about managing the game and managing our energy levels because we know Puerto Rico is going to be looking for a result. This one’s over and we can enjoy it a little bit but back to business in the morning.

And here's hat trick hero Simeon Jackson



We just have to execute our game plan and we did that today. It was good that everybody was getting on the score sheet and we can take a lot of positives from this game.

We still have to finish the games off and obviously the next one’s going to be a tough one. We’re going to go out there and try win the game put ourselves in an even better position.

Canada's already in a very good position, they have 9 points, and with Puerto Rico and St Kitts & Nevis tying 1-1 tonight, they now have a 4 point lead at the top of the table.  A win, combined with St Kitts & Nevis losing against St Lucia (or effectively even a tie would be fine given Canada's goal difference) would mean the group is won with two games to spare.  After two good results from more workmanlike performances, it's good to get a Canadian record breakingly good win in the books as well, hopefully that might inspire a few extra people to come out to the Puerto Rico game.