NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It's not just the senior national team that seems to have trouble finding the back of the net.
The Canadian Under-23 national team opened their Olympic qualifying campaign on Thursday night against El Salvador, and much like the senior Canadian team in 2014 World Cup qualifying, the youngsters' attack largely failed to trouble their opponents in a scoreless draw.
Over the 90 minutes, Canada were only able to manage six shot attempts, with only one of them finding the target.
“I think just having that little bit of composure in that final third let us down a little bit today,” forward Marcus Haber (above) told reporters. “There’s two more games left and a draw isn’t a bad result.”
For his part, Canadian head coach Tony Fonseca said he definitely saw some nerves from his side that may have been cause for a tough or two of the ball to go awry.
“I think the way they faced this game was a certain level of stress coming into the first game,” Fonseca admitted in the postgame press conference. “I think they faced it with being a little bit nervous for our taste.”
Fonseca did say, however, that he felt this game was a point won rather than two points dropped. But there's little time to enjoy it.
Canada's next game comes Saturday against a United States team that is easily the favorite in Group A, so scoring chances in that game will be few and far between. But in the battle for second place — which is expected to be between Canada and El Salvador — the deciding factor may well come down to who can score the most goals.