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Canada v Mexico: Game Thread

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Canada lost to Martinique, now they have to play Mexico? Fun.

Marcus Haber. For want of a better option, he'll probably be up front again.
Marcus Haber. For want of a better option, he'll probably be up front again.
Stephen Dunn

Canada v Mexico
Century Link Field, 11pm Eastern
Sportsnet World

Alright, well then. the Gold Cup campaign got off to a rocky start with a substandard performance against Martinique that brought a well deserved defeat, what next? Mexico you say? Perfect.

Excpet it's not really the Mexico you're thinking of. It's a very inexperienced lineup, and one that really didn't play well in a 2-1 defeat to Panama in their opening game. Coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre is very much on the hot seat after a woeful world cup qualifying campaign, so the Mexicans in the crowd will no doubt be very ready to turn on him and the team if Canada can succeed in frustrating them for the first half hour or so.

That frustration is quite possible, even a struggling Mexico is still Mexico, ie better than Canada and skillful on the ball, but if Canada keeps it tight at the back, doesn't try to get too ambitious then it should be able to stop them. Think Mexico vs Portugal from The Simpsons, the Mexicans passing it around and back and forth but totally unable to do anything resembling dangerous. Then it's just a case of Canada maybe getting a break or two and capitalising on any chance they can get. Simple really.

Who'll be getting those chances? Simeon Jackson sure looked lively when he came on, maybe he'll get the start and, nope never mind, he's off to Germany signing himself a deal with a new team. Russell Tiebert, probably the best player for Canada on Sunday, probably not, he's reportedly sick and might not play, same for Will Johnson who's still not recovered and Randy Edwini Bonsu left camp with an injury as well. Lovely. Yep, as bad as Mexico might be having it right now, the B team that Canada brought with them is having even more problems.

That might mean we'll see Jonathan Osorio out there, or (surely at some point) Kevin Aleman, might as well put them out there, see what they can do. Perhaps even Kyle Bekker, he looked good in previous friendlies for Canada, let's see what he can do in a game that matters, surely it's better than another run out for the underwhelming devils we know of Pedro Pacheco or Issey Nakajima-Farran. Talking of Bekker looking decent in friendlies, remember back in January when Canada put in an embarrassing performance against Denmark, then followed it up with a credible tie against the U.S? Let's hope that can be a template for a recovery for tonight.

It seems unlikely, but join us here late tonight to see what might happen. If forced to predict I'd go with what I described above, with Mexico eventually managing to get a goal and come away with a 1-0 win that does nothing to ease their larger concerns. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Allez les Rouges!