TAMPA, Fla. — Canada will not be surprised by Guadeloupe again.
Four years ago, the tiny French protectorate stunned the Canadian side with a 2-1 victory in the Gold Cup. It was the Gwada Boys’ first victory in a Cinderella run that saw the Caribbean side advance all the way to the semifinals.
“It was unexpected,” Dwayne De Rosario told MLSsoccer.com at training on Friday. “We were playing good up to that point. We beat Costa Rica, which was a big win for us at that time, and I think we kind of got beside ourselves going into [the game against] Guadeloupe and they definitely made it a very difficult game for us.”
Montreal Impact striker Ali Gerba scored the lone goal for the Canucks in that match, and he expects the same fight and tenacity from the Gwada Boys on Saturday night (6 pm ET, Galavisión, Rogers Sportsnet) as he and his teammates saw in 2007.
“They’re good, quality players,” Gerba said. “We have to take them serious, because it can be one of those tricky games that you go there, you don’t respect your opponent, and you get beat up.”
With so much on the line — both sides lost their opening match and need to pick up points if they want to advance to the knockout round — coach Stephen Hart will be looking for a little more of the urgency that his side displayed in the second half of the loss to the United States on Tuesday.
"We'll have to be a little more consistent in what we do," Hart said via a conference call Friday afternoon. “We had some excellent chances that we did not put away [against the Americans] and we probably will need to be a lot more clinical that way.”
De Rosario believes that if Canada plays their own game Saturday night, they should get a positive result.
“It’s not going to be an easy game,” the New York Red Bulls midfielder said. “Guadeloupe do have a lot of strengths, they do have a lot of good players. But if we can control and dictate the pace of the game, I think we should be fine.”