Even when they win, the Canadian Men’s national team has a tendency to make themselves a punchline.
Take this afternoon in Bermuda for example, where Canada was playing the 186th-ranked Bermudian national team in an international friendly. They were leading 2-1 in the second half, when a back pass went past keeper Sean Melvin and into the back of the net.
Melvin was injured on the play as onrushing Bermuda attackers made sure the ball was over the line. The issue was that Canada had already used their other keeper, Callum Irving. As a result centreback Adam Straith had to finish the match as the team’s keeper, making at least one big save.
Luckily for Canada, a trio of Toronto FC players came to the rescue. Jonathan Osorio, Tosaint Ricketts, and Jay Chapman all scored in Canada’s 4-2 victory. Anthony Jackson-Hamel of the Montreal Impact had the fourth goal.
Bermuda, playing in front of a home crowd of 1,814 at their national soccer stadium, opened the scoring early in the first half. The goal came from a corner kick, nodded home by Oliver Harvey.
That lead did not last long, however, as in a two minute span later in the half Canada tied the match and then took the lead. Osorio scored Canada’s opener from a rebound, his first goal for the senior men’s national team.
Osorio then turned provider for his teammate Ricketts, who scored his 15th goal for Canada and put them ahead. He is now tied with former Toronto FC striker Ali Gerba for fifth all-time in goals scored for the Canadian national team.
After the match was again tied due to the aforementioned own goal, Chapman saved the day in his first appearance for the senior men’s national team. A second half substitute, Chapman got on the end of a Kyle Bekker corner to put Canada ahead.
This time Canada didn’t relinquish the lead, as Jackson-Hamel added his own first goal for the national team late in the half to make it 4-2. His goal meant three players on the day had scored for the first time for the senior team.
In that regard, this camp can be viewed as a success for Canada, who were using it to access their domestic core group of players. Chapman was one of five players who made their senior national team debuts against Bermuda.
When and where Canada plays next remains to be seen, although speculation is that they will play a friendly during the upcoming international window at the end of March. They are also working on a game to be played on home soil later in the year.