TUCSON, Ariz. – A new year, a young, revamped squad and a new coach at the helm. Yet it was more of the same for the Canadian national team on Saturday, as Denmark rolled to an easy 4-0 win in a friendly at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Andreas Cornelius had a hat trick and Kasper Lorentzen added a goal for good measure as a completely Danish Superliga-based squad had its way with a Canadian team that saw six players picking up their first senior caps.
Canada's defense was soft throughout and could manage little resistance despite the presence of veterans Dwayne De Rosario, Terry Dunfield, Dejan Jakovic and Lars Hirschfeld on the pitch.
It was the Canadians who created the first chance just a few minutes in as Vancouver Whitecaps attacker Russell Teibert led an attack up the left side and then sent Toronto FC defender Doneil Henry through to continue the run.
Henry then sent a cross in that was too high for Tosaint Ricketts in the middle and just missed Nik Ledgerwood who tried in vain to get the ball with the diving header. It ended up at De Rosario’s feet in the corner of the 18-yard box but his shot was blocked for a corner.
But from there it went all downhill as Cornelius got his first in the eighth minute. Danish captain Dennis Rommedahl’s cross from the right side and the Canadians failed to properly mark Cornelius, and the 19-year-old FC Copenhagen striker rose to meet the ball and headed it in on a rolling bounce.
Three minutes, later the Danes capitalizing again on poor Canadian defending. Nicolai Jorgensen played Lorentzen through on goal right down the middle, and the FC Nordsjælland attacker had time to look up and slot the ball in the left side.
Cornelius rounded out the first-half scoring with 10 minutes remaining when he tapped in a ball that came back off the crossbar.
Canada came out a bit better to start the second half, but Cornelius again just heaped misery on them when his right-footed shot tucked into the bottom right corner.
The Canadians tried to at least get some measure of consolation as Ricketts set up Teibert in the 64th minute, but the ‘Caps youngster put it right at Denmark ‘keeper Steffen Rasmussen. Ricketts’ drive 13 minutes later was also saved. But the result was never in doubt.
Interim head coach Colin Miller will now take his Canada side to Houston for Tuesday’s friendly with the United States at BBVA Compass Stadium. Denmark next take on Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Wednesday.