Despite going up a goal in just the fifth minute of play, Canada fell 3-1 to a dominant Armenia side in a friendly played in Cyprus on Wednesday.
The Canadians opened the scoring with Kevin McKenna latching on to a well-struck Julian de Guzman corner kick and nodding the ball past Armenian goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky.
Armenia responded in the 23rd minute off a low, hard 20-yard shot from Marcos Pizzeli after the Canadian defense failed to close their opponents down. The goal gave the Armenians life, and the ensuing pressure pinned Canada into their own half for long stretches of the first half.
The Canucks rode out the pressure until the halftime break, and started the second frame on a more positive note. A couple of offensive forays by Simeon Jackson and Tosaint Ricketts went unrewarded, however, and Armenia eventually regained their dominance.
In the 67th minute, Pizzeli doubled his tally after pouncing on a loose ball that had bounced back into play off the Canadian crossbar. The Armenian striker made no mistake in firing home a shot from 10 yards out.
The European side weren’t satisfied with just two goals, and kept hitting the Canadian backline with speed from Pizzeli and former Real Salt Lake striker Yura Mosisyan, who was the most active attacker on the pitch for his 73 minutes of play.
Armenia put the nail in the Canadians’ coffin in stoppage time, when Aras Ozbiliz successfully converted a penalty kick that was the result of a poor challenge by Canada’s Mike Klukowski.
CAN - Kevin McKenna, 5’
ARM - Marcos Pizzeli, 23’
ARM - Marcos Pizzeli, 67’
ARM - Aras Ozbiliz, 90+1’
ARM - Arthur Yedigaryan, 52’ (Caution)
Canada - Milan Borjan (Kenny Stamatopoulos, 46’), Adam Straith (Nana Attakora, 62’), Kevin McKenna, David Edgar, Mike Klukowski, Nik Ledgerwood, Julian de Guzman (Marcus Haber, 81’), Atiba Hutchinson, Tosaint Ricketts, Josh Simpson (Iain Hume, 62’), Simeon Jackson
Armenia - Roman Berezovsky, Sargis Hovsepyan, Valeri Aleksanyan, Hryar Mkoyan, Arthur Yedigaryan, Artak Yedigaryan (Arthur Yuspahsyan, 78’), Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aras Ozbiliz, Levon Hayrapetyan, Yura Movsisyan (Artur Sarkisov, 73’), Marcos Pizzeli