Canada defeats Guatemala 1-0

Canada wrapped up another failed World Cup qualifying campaign yesterday on a winning note, defeating host Guatemala 1-0 in a meaningless soccer game for both teams.
Striker Dwayne DeRosario of Toronto scored in the 57th minute.
There was little more than bragging rights at stake in the rematch since Guatemala, 3-1-1 going into the game, had already booked its position for the final round of qualifying in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Canada, meanwhile, came in knowing its World Cup dream was already over.
“I am very, very pleased and excited by our performance this evening. I thought we were tremendous,” said Canadian coach Frank Yallop. “We came in here and completely outplayed a team that is going through to the final round.”
Canada finishes the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying mired in the Group B basement at 1-3-2. The Canadians managed four goals in the six games.
A crowd of more than 25,000 came out to celebrate Guatemala’s berth in the final round but instead watched as Canada outplayed the home side.
“We created all kinds of chances and we could have been up by at least a few goals in the first half alone,” said Yallop.
De Rosario scored the winner with a spectacular shot from outside the edge of the 18-yard box, which sailed over Guatemalan goalkeeper Klee Miguel.
Two red cards were flashed in Canada’s closing match. Guatemala’s Eddy Cabrera was sent off in the 68th minute and Canada’s Olivier Occean went off in the 69th.
In the other Group B contest, Costa Rica (3-2-1) and Honduras (1-1-4) played to a 0-0 draw. Costa Rica joined Guatemala in moving on.
The top two teams in each of three semifinal-round groups advance to the final round of qualifying in the region.
From there, the top three will win places at the 2006 World Cup finals, while the fourth-place country will have a chance to join them via a playoff with an Asian side.
Yallop elected to forgo summoning Fulham striker Tomasz Radzinski, Ipswich defender Jason deVos and other veterans for the Guatemala game.
Others left with their club teams were goalkeeper Pat Onstad (San Jose, MLS), fullback Ante Jazic (FC Kuban, Russia), midfielders Daniel Imhof (St. Gallen, Switzerland) and Julian DeGuzman (Hannover, Germany) and striker Iain Hume (Tranmere, England). Fullback Paul Stalteri (Werder Bremen, Germany) was out already through suspension.
Yallop went going for youth, calling up uncapped defender Tyler Hughes (Toronto Lynx, A-League) and midfielder Felix Brillant (New England Revolution, MLS).
Thirteen of the 16 players originally summoned came into the game with 10 caps or less, combining for 49 international appearances at this level. The other three—goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld (Dundee United, Scotland), defender Kevin McKenna (Hearts, Scotland) and DeRosario (San Jose, MLS)—had 66 caps between them.
McKenna (Hearts, Scotland) returned after missing the first five games of the semifinal round with a knee injury.

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