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Saturday, September 3, 2011

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Canada v St. Lucia... or we're gonna kill'em! (aren't we?)

This photo is "borrowed" from REUTERS/Fred Thornhill via Toronto Sun

First off, we need to give props. The Voyageurs have been nothing short of all-stars. It is through their tireless efforts that the vocal support in the south end unified and the tickets were put into the correct hands. If you ever wonder what a real supporter looks like, find the gentlemen who stumped up for the tickets and buy him a beer or three.

We would also like to give props to Umbro for their contribution to helping the fostering of Canadian support. Mind you, they didn't have to do too much since our last kit supplier, official ident-a-kit supplier to half of the free world, did the barest of minimums. I have heard more about Umbro's support from giveaways on various podcasts, blogs, and through the Voyageurs forums.

Now if only the rest of the country could get behind them.

Before we begin the post-match round up, we need to compare the FIFA standings of the two national teams:

101. Rhodesia
102. Canada
103. Probably Wales

183. Somethingistan
184. St. Lucia
185. Plain Timor

That's 82 places. If you look at the national team squad on paper, they shouldn't really be this low, however they are, and on paper does not mean status.

The first 6 minutes were absolutely insane. Canada had three legit chances and the Lucians put half the team behind the ball in the 6-yard box. After a bit of drama and pinball, one goes in. The counter attack then had Tremain Paul launch one of those "once in a lifetime"/Brazil-esque kind of goals, 25 yards out, curls around the stretching Hirshfeld in tucks in behind the post.

Then nothing.

Canada was trying, but where were the goals? This is St. Lucia, with a population a little larger than PEI. Half time should be 4-0, no?

FULL TIME : Canada 4, St. Lucia 1. A De Ro penalty here, a Will Johnson at the end and a brace from Josh Simpson.

What you need to know and understand was a few things. The ref was far more generous to the Lushies than Canada. The stretcher came out enough times (each time for the Luciarinos) that it would be fair to think that they were playing as some random third team. And the biggest factor, Lucious keeper Iran Cassius was outstanding.

Man of the Match : Iran Cassius. His hair-trigger reflexes prevented the scoreline to be what 95% of the stadium believed. Not an exaggeration. Truly outstanding. Yes, I know Simpson had two, I get it. But I expected more from Canada as a whole and less from St. Lucia than what transpired. Simpson should've had three or more. Cassius stopped many of those chances.

Goats of the Game : Any St. Lucian who hit the dirt to waste time and stop momentum. Of the 5 stretcher calls, only 1 was serious enough for the player to not come back, and everyone else was on their feet within seconds of exiting the pitch.

Ref Rating : 2 out of 5. We should be able to counter-bribe the refs better than our opposition.

Apologies for the delay, however it was a long day. Opted against the notebook after the first few minutes... The atmosphere in the stadium was far more electric and unified than typical TFC matches, but you got the sense that everyone there was there because they wanted to be there and not because it was the "in game in town"... To the Oakville Soccer Club, mad respect... Seats in the lower part of 114 is a great view. You have our envy... So looking forward to the next game, October 11 v Puerto Rico. Be there. We're looking at you Steve.*

* = Steve could be anyone, including people who aren't named Steve

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