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Canadian football history. 2000 Gold Cup final. "Canada! 2000 Gold Cup champions! How does that sound?"

Canada had already come through the group stage, against Costa Rica and South Korea unbeaten, beaten Mexico in the quarter final, clinched the Concacaf spot at the 2001 Confederations cup thanks to a 'tour de Forrest' against Trinidad and Tobago. Now, on February 27th, all that was left was to win the whole thing, the title and the huge trophy, by beating South American invitee Colombia, Faustino Asprilla et al.

For the first time all tournament, Canada made a change to it's starting lineup, Davide Xausa replaced by Paul Fenwick and Martin Nash replacing Paul Peschisolido. The game clearly meant a lot more to Canada, as Colombia put in a very lacklustre performance, but it shouldn't take away from another very good performance by the Canadians.

The first goal came right before half time, Martin Nash floated a corner to the far post, and it was the captain, Jason de Vos who charged from the edge of the box and jumped higher than the defender, got over the ball, and headed it down. The goalie got his hands to it, but spilled the ball just over the line to give Canada the edge right before half time, the whistle blowing before Sportsnet was done showing replays.

In the second half, some neat passing play sprung Jeff Clarke into the box, and after he outpaced the defender, the Colombian goalie decided not to dive for the ball and smother it, but instead stayed on his feet and made a ridiculously clumsy tackle to give away a penalty. there was no doubt who was going to take it as while everyone else was celebrating, Carlo Corazzin ran straight to the goalie to get the ball. He blasted it down the middle as the goalie dived to his right, and from there Canada were never really troubled. No coin toss or goalie heroics needed for this one.


So Jason de Vos got to go receive the trophy from Jack 'Canada was by far one of the weakest teams in the tournament' Warner and to add to his indignity, Warner was nudged aside by Sepp Blatter who wanted to get right in the middle of the photo (and no way was Jason de Vos going to make way for him). This was the first, and still only time, that a country outside of Mexico and the U.S won the Gold Cup, and Canada swept the player awards as well. Carlo Corazzin won the golden boot, Craig Forrest was named Outstanding Goalkeeper as well as Tournament MVP (as a small crowd of canadians chanted 'there's only one Craig Forrest'), Richard Hastings got Rookie of the Tournament, and despite picking up a couple of yellow cards, Jason de Vos got the fair play award. Forrest, De Vos and Corazzin all made the tournament best XI.

What happened next? Well, at the 2001 Confederations Cup, Canada lost 3-0 to Japan, and 2-0 to Cameroon, but those results sandwiched a 0-0 tie against Brazil. A very good result, though slightly less impressive when you consider that Brazil only won 1 out of their 5 games at the tournament. The 2002 Gold Cup saw Canada yet again need a coin toss to get out of their group, then a penalty shoot out to win their quarter final before losing in another shootout against the U.S in the semi final. Of course most importantly, qualification for the 2002 World Cup went very much awry, the Holger Osieck era ended miserably and the momentum from this tournament has never really been recovered.