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Out of Rhythm: Canada fall to Jamaica at Gold Cup

A last minute goal mean Canada's chances of going to the next round at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup are quickly evaporating.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Canada are heading home after losing 1-0 to Jamaica on an injury time goal at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. For once, that doesn't mean they are eliminated, it means they have one more game against Costa Rica at BMO Field. If they win that game they advance. The positives end there.

What started as a promising effort for Canada faded under the hot Houston sun as it became clear the team did not have the legs or the ambition to keep up with Jamaica. A match that was fairly even going into the halftime quickly slanted in Jamaica's favour as time ran down.

As the whistle sounded to start the second half it was obvious that there were two different mentalities from the teams. Jamaica was aggressive and took the game to Canada, proactively searching for a winning goal. Canada were without ideas in the final third, and just tried to hang on for a draw.

The players that should have helped Canada take on an aggressive mentality disappeared altogether. Without his signature confidence, Cyle Larin had his worst game in a Canada shirt. The same can be said of Tesho Akindele who didn't get much service but didn't make much either.

The midfield was better than Canada's opening match against El Salvador, mostly thanks to the play of Julian De Guzman, but was still a mess for most of the game. Samuel Piette really struggled and was once again unable to create anything going forward.

What's disappointing is that Russel Teibert came on and added a flair to the Canadian attack that they had been missing all game. Late in the match he seemed like the only one who was creating anything, and one was left to wonder what he could have accomplished with a starting spot.

This was just one of the ways that Benito Floro once again tactically got it wrong as he set up Canada for the defensive play for a draw style that they exhibited instead of trying to control the game.

Why he has not included technically gifted Canadian players like Jonathan Osorio and Teibert in the lineup, the kinds of players that have the creativity to bring the team forward, is nothing short of puzzling.

Luckily his hand will be forced a little bit as Piette will be suspended for the next match after getting his second yellow card of the tournament. It's not that Piette has been particularly bad this tournament, it's that he has represented what is wrong with Floro's tactical selections.

If there is some solace to be taken from this game it comes from the backline, which has been positive throughout the tournament. David Edgar has been a steadying presence throughout the entire Floro era, while Dejan Jakovic might be Canada's best outfield player so far this tournament.

Canada actually dealt fairly well with the quick and tricky Jamaican side, especially star man Gilles Barnes who hardly had an influence. This bodes well for the match ahead against Costa Rica.

There only major lapse resulted in the game's only goal, as Nik Ledgerwood was left to cover three Jamaican players as a cross came into the box. It should be no surprise that one of them got on the end of it.

In goal Kenny Stamatopoulos was once again brilliant for Canada, and preserved a clean sheet for them well into injury time before a close range header that had no chance on beat him. If he hadn't played so well the second half of this match really could have gotten out of hand for Canada.

One of the big problems with this effort was that it came in a game broadcast on the main Sportsnet channels that could have offered good exposure for Canadian soccer. A win would have gone a long way towards seeing a solid crowd at BMO Field on Tuesday.

Instead, Canada will enter a must win final match of the group stage with no momentum and with a lot of towels have already been thrown in.

Whether or not anyone is giving it to them or not, however, Canada still has a chance to move on to the knockout stages at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In fact this match could end up being positive for a couple of reasons. Firstly it will hopefully embarrass the team, this is a squad with a lot of pride and they will not want this to happen again. Secondly, hopefully it will finally get Benito Floro to understand the error in his tactical ways.

Tonight was toothless, spineless and disappointing from the Canadian team, but for once that doesn't mean they are eliminated yet.

The next time Canada play, they will hopefully have a full chorus of Canadian fans singing them on to victory. Maybe that will be enough to wake up the Canadian pride that has so far been missing from this team.