The Canadian national team was left to rue a slew of second-half chances on Monday as it dropped a 2-0 result to Belarus in a friendly at the Aspire Zone sports facility in Doha, Qatar. Canada concluded their March camp with a pair of losses, following a 2-1 defeat against Japan on Friday.
Vitali Radzionau scored the opening goal when he scored headed in a free kick in the 29th minute. Uladzimir Khvashchynski added the second goal – also a header – in the 88th minute.
It was a very feisty friendly between two teams, who were playing almost exactly two years after Canada picked up a 1-0 win in Antalya, Turkey. There were a total of seven yellow cards and Belarus head coach Georgy Kondratiev was sent to the stands in the second half for arguing an offside call.
There were also a number of tough challenges and the teams nearly came to blows near the end of the match.
The game started rather tamely until Radzianou got on the end of a Belarus free kick and headed in from close range.
Similarly to the Japan game, Canada put together a much-improved performance in the second half. But as has been a common refrain for Canadian teams over the years, finishing left plenty to be desired.
The second half was delayed when the officials were late in returning to the field after the interval. But once it got underway, Canada began to cause Belarus trouble via some dangerous crosses from Marcel de Jong and Randy Edwini-Bonsu.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Tosaint Ricketts was played through over the top but couldn’t convert his chance, and five minutes after that Will Johnson had a header go high at the back post.
Ricketts had another chance in the 78th minute from a Simeon Jackson cross, but he headed over goal. Substitute Marcus Haber did the same two minutes later, missing high with his header.
As Canada pressed for an equalizer, the Belarussians capitalized on one of their rare chances with two minutes remaining when Khvashchynski scored his first-ever international goal.