HAMILTON, Bermuda – Canada's trip to Bermuda was supposed to be a simple preseason friendly to incorporate some youngsters into the national team and get players ready for their respective preseasons. It turned out to be anything but.
It took some ‘you wouldn’t believe it if you saw it’ moments but Canada started 2017 with a 4-2 victory over Bermuda.
After conceding first before rallying to take the lead by halftime with goals from Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio and Tosaint Ricketts, Canada looked like they would then shift into control in the second half. But a bizarre goal off a back pass that rolled under Canada 'keeper Sean Melvin, the substitute goalkeeper’s foot and into the net, changed all that.
Melvin was injured on the play and defender Adam Straith, who had provided what was an innocuous pass, had to then step into finish the game as goalkeeper but first international goals from Toronto FC’s Jay Chapman and the Montreal Impact’s Anthony Jackson-Hamel gave Canada the victory.
- 11’ – BER – Jalen Harvey
- 15’ – CAN – Jonathan Osorio
- 16’ – CAN – Tosaint Ricketts (Jonathan Osorio)
- 55' – BER – Lejuan Simmons
- 76' – CAN – Jay Chapman (Kyle Bekker)
- 85' – CAN – Anthony Jackson-Hamel
- Full box score
- ANOTHER EARLY HOLE: Canada have played four times since being eliminated from World Cup qualifying. In the last three, they’ve conceded goals in minute number 12, 10 and 11. The first two came in losses to Morocco and South Korea while the third came Sunday against Bermuda. Canada has the quality to come back against Bermuda but against better teams (especially when it comes time for the Gold Cup), they won’t be able to concede in that early time and expect to get results.
- NEW BLOOD: January is not a FIFA window so the squad that makes up rosters like Canada’s will always be missing plenty of experience. Especially with Canada once again playing the long game, camps like these present opportunities for young players to step in and get experience without the added pressure of World Cup qualifying or the Gold Cup to worry about. Having five players (Ben Fisk, Ben McKendry, Callum Irving, Sean Melvin) make international debuts in one game is something to be pleased with as the Canadian talent pool can always get a little bit deeper.
- BETTER REDS: Toronto FC certainly did their part in helping Canada to Sunday’s victory with Jonathan Osorio, Tosaint Ricketts and Jay Chapman all getting on the scoreboard. For Chapman, it was a goal on his debut and for he and Osorio, they were first senior international goals. Osorio also passed to Ricketts who did nicely to cut a shot across goal and in off the post. That’s a pretty good way to head into their training camp that starts next week in Toronto.