Note: Game will be re-broadcast later today on various Sportsnet channels (and Gol TV has the Argentina v Portugal friendly at 7pm tonight)
Here’s a video of the goal. On second thought I’d throw a good heaping cupful of blame for the goal on Borjan. That’s hardly a driven ball into his box and it drops just outside his six with no attackers in sight. He should have called Straith off it, especially since Straith had to (well, chose to) clear the ball on the turn, and taken it. That’s an easy take for Borjan the more I look at it if he reacts quicker.
So no pressure on the cross, keeper pulls a vampire (fear of crosses) and stays on his line and defender muffs the clearance…sounds like the U15 silver game I watched last weekend 😉
A familiar story for Canada in that the lack of internationals and turnover in both coaches and players makes it difficulty to have strong, consistent performances. We seem to be caught in a perpetual re-build.
Admittedly I only saw the last half hour so take these as semi-random thoughts:
- Borjan the keeper was a bit too intent on drawing attention t himself. A few minutes after the Greek goal he tries a toe drag away from pressure from a Greek striker that takes him to his (weak) left foot. This leads to a cut out pass and having to make a save from a chance he gifted them from trying to be too fancy. Similarly, trying to control a long Greek ball into his box with his chest and then head, instead of just getting it in his hands, almost leads to conceding a corner. After this sort of attention seeking it wasn’t surprising to see him push up for a free kick in injury time but as Craig Forrest says, when it broke down he should’ve got his ass back to his goal instead of lingering. Almost led to an embarrassing second goal. Bit concerned at the need to be noticed. Not what you want in a keeper.
- The goal against was of course entirely preventable. While most of the blame should rest with Adam Straith for the very poor clearance (covered as one of the simple ways to prevent goals against; see Point #2), if you’re going to be a team that allows teams to put crosses into your box uncontested, you’re going to increase the chances of them being scored on. No pressure on the ball so he gets a good clean strike. Unfortunately, Straith did not and the slow dribbler to 5’4″ Fetfatzidis leads to the game winner for the Greeks.
- It’s great that they’re trying to play through midfield and keep the ball. At times it looked quite promising. At times, it became apparent that just because Spain can make it look easy, it isn’t, and it only takes one brick wall first touch to concede possession and you’re defending for the next two minutes.
- The best chances, as acknowledged by Forrest and Dobson, were Dwayne DeRosario’s strike at goal (he adjusted well to a ball that was pushed a little further forward from the free kick than he was expecting) and Rob Friend’s header off the corner (or was it a free kick?). These are still Canada’s best weapons. High balls in to Friend and free kicks in DeRo’s range around the box.