TORONTO – As he made his way through the gathered media to leave BMO Field after Canada’s 3-0 win over Cuba on Friday night, Tosaint Ricketts just shook his head.
“It could have been 10,” he muttered.
Had it not been for a pair of goals in the last 15 minutes, Canada were on pace for what could have been the most lopsided one-goal win in history.
“A lot of guys were kind of disappointed because we had so many chances,” said Ricketts, who opened the scoring for Canada 15 minutes in but was a little lost for words when asked what happened after that.
“It’s hard to say,” he continued. “Just not sharp I guess in the final third. A lot of shots were just directly at the ‘keeper. I think we’ve got to get more to the side and be more clinical and we’ll get more goals.”
The stat sheet reflects Canada’s dominance as they took an astonishing 37 shots – 13 of which were on target – and took 13 corner kicks. Cuba could only counter with a single shot on frame.
As wave after wave of Canadian attack went begging, players on the field grew more visibly frustrated. When midfielder Will Johnson came off the field, he was visibly agitated. Head coach Stephen Hart explained afterwards that Johnson was just upset at himself for not banging in a few more of the chances he was presented with.
“It’s the same old thing every time,” said defender Kevin McKenna. “We’ve got to score goals. With a team like Cuba that’s gifting you – they’ve got no subs and, gifting you chances, you have to bury them. If it comes down to goals [in the Group C table], I think we’ll be in a lot of trouble.”
Under normal circumstances, a 3-0 win over anybody is a cause for optimism for Canada, but as the players left for the team bus, many didn’t look like they had just picked three points in a crucial World Cup qualifier.
That’s certainly understandable with the task that awaits them in Honduras on Tuesday in the Group C finale, and certainly the hope is that Canada’s lack of finish once again will come back to haunt them.
“We know that we have a tougher job ahead of us now,” admitted McKenna. “It’s going to be very tough.”