Canada needs win against Costa Rica to keep go­ing in Gold Cup tour­na­ment

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY NEIL DAVID­SON

Canada is hop­ing history and home-field ad­van­tage will help it sur­vive a lit­tle longer in the Gold Cup. A goal or two would help as well.

The Cana­dian men (0-1-1) play Costa Rica (0-0-2) at BMO Field on Tues­day, es­sen­tially need­ing a win to ad­vance to the knock­out round of the CONCACAF cham­pi­onship.

“There’s a sense of ur­gency,” said Cana­dian cap­tain Ju­lian de Guz­man. “We re­al­ize the sit­u­a­tion we’re in at this point. I mean (Tues­day’s) game is pretty much like a fi­nal.

“This time we’re at home. We’ll have the sup­port of our fans,” he added.

Canada has not been beaten at BMO Field since a 2-0 loss to Peru in Septem­ber 2010. The men have gone 6-0-4 there since and have won their last four games in Toronto.

But the last time they lost in Canada was to Costa Rica, 1-0 at Ed­mon­ton’s Com­mon­wealth Sta­dium in May 2013.

Canada is ranked 103rd in the world by FIFA while Costa Rica is No. 41.

Ja­maica leads Group B with four points with Costa Rica and El Salvador on two and Canada on one.

The top two teams in each of the three groups as well the two best third-place fin­ish­ers ad­vance to the quar­ter-fi­nals.

The Cana­dian men could win their pool. Or they could exit the tour­na­ment, as they did in 2013 when they went 0-2-1 and failed to score.

Two years later, Canada’s young strike force still has to find the net.

“The dif­fer­ence-maker has just come down to putting away our chances, be­cause we do get chances,” said de Guz­man.

Canada’s ca­reer record against Costa Rica is 5-7-7.

Like Canada, Costa Rica knows a win will open the door to go­ing deeper in the tour­na­ment.

No. 76 Ja­maica (1-0-1) meets No. 88 El Salvador (0-0-2) in the opener of the Toronto dou­ble­header, which marks the first time the Gold Cup has come to Canada.

The Cana­di­ans will be with­out de­fender Nik Ledger­wood and midfielder Sa­muel Pi­ette, both of whom are sus­pended due to yel­low-card ac­cu­mu­la­tion.

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