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Canada Miss Opportunity Against Mexico, But Will Have More Down the Road

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The doom and gloom attitude after Canada's loss to Mexico last night is understandable. But this certainly isn't the end of the road to Russia for the Canadian team.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The problem with hype around the Canadian Soccer program is that when things go wrong people tend to lose perspective quickly. Last night, Canada hosted Mexico at BC Place in front of a record-breaking crowd, and there was genuine belief that this crowd would coincide with an equally special performance from the Canadian team.

It wasn't to be, Canada was outclassed by Mexico en route to a 3-0 loss. Anyone who entered the match expecting, or even entertaining the possibility, that Canada could get a result left sorely disappointed. Those who came in anticipating the worst got a lot of what they were expecting.

What this match wasn't, however, and what it has somehow been turned into by many, is another 8-1. It wasn't even close to that level. Canada didn't lay down and die last night despite an underwhelming performance. There is no need to get up on a soapbox and yell about everything that's wrong with the program, it isn't broken like it was four years ago.

Last night was a byproduct of Canada having an off night against one of the best teams in the world. For whatever reason they got away from the defensive strategy that has made them such a difficult team to play against, and they allowed the most goals they have since 2013 against Australia.

It's good that the result isn't being viewed as acceptable, something Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani made clear to TSN at halftime. Accepting, or excusing results like this do nothing for a program trying to move up in the soccer world.

However, tearing down the team every time they lose a high profile game doesn't help the program either. Getting to where Canada want to be is never going to be a linear progression. There is going to be heartbreak along the way, and last night's loss likely isn't the worst it's going to get. Heck, they still have to travel down to Azteca on Tuesday.

At the end of the day Canada still sit second in their group, a position that will see them advance should they hold on. A 2-2 draw between El Salvador and Honduras last night means that no matter what, Canada will head into the final pair of games against each of these teams with their fate in their own hands. Canada currently sit on four point through three games, while El Salvador has two and Honduras has one.

Canada missed a major opportunity last night, there is no way around that. They had national attention, something they have so very rarely, and have likely lost it again after that performance. That's not something to be taken lightly, considering how much work went into last night but on and off the field.

But if they can move on from this result even bigger opportunities will happen down the road. It may mean having to get a result against Honduras on the road in September, but as last night proved the Hondurans aren't exactly a team in a great deal of form right now.

With that in mind Canada can now head into Azteca stadium with a nothing to lose mentality, and try to get a result that nobody believes is possible. At the very least they can fight to give themselves momentum towards their games in September, and what will hopefully be their next opportunity to do something special.