Canada eliminated after tough loss to New Zealand at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019

Canada were eliminated from the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 after a tough 1:0 loss to New Zealand in the group finale. Canada dominated with 61% possession, 21 shots and a barrage of chances, but couldn’t beat the goalkeeper save for one chance that was called back by the Video Assistant Referee.

Jayden Nelson was Canada’s player of the match and scored what should have been the 1:1 equaliser if not for an offside call before he played the give-and-go magic with teammate Kamron Habibullah. New Zealand’s lone goal from the 27’ by Matthew Garbett stood as the 1:0 winner.

As part of an aligned Men’s National Team program, Canada’s attacking style was evident throughout the competition. Jacen Russell-Rowe was the Canadian goalscorer in both matches, becoming just the third Canadian to score in back-to-back FIFA men’s youth matches (after Iain Hume in 2003 and Jordan Hamilton in 2013).

“We were really good tonight but the next step for our program is to learn how to win big games like this,” said Andrew Olivieri.“We’re looking for the next players that can develop and excel into the Men’s National Team in time and continue to make our program better. Some of these boys are on the path to doing that and I hope they’ve learned something here that’s going to help them along the way.”

Before the group finale, Canada lost their opener 4:1 to Group A winner Brazil and then lost a heartbreaker 2:1 to Angola, conceding the winner in the 94’.

Canada created several chances on either side of the opening goal, but they couldn’t beat New Zealand’s goalkeeper Alex Paulsen. Ultimately, it was New Zealand that made it 1:0 in the 27’ after a free kick was awarded by the referee. Oskar Van Hattum rolled it short for Garbett who strode right and then fired his low shot past Canada’s diving goalkeeper Eleias Himaras.

The chances got even better in the second half before Nelson thought he equalised in the 57’. In the 49’, Jacen Russell-Rowe was stopped point blank by Paulsen after a wonderful pass from Nelson. Then in the 55’, Canada nearly scored on another big chance, but Paulsen made the save on the Habibullah attempt.

Canada thought they had the tying goal in the ’57 off a Nelson and Habibullah combination that was ultimately called off because of an offside play after review by the Video Assistant Referee. On the play, Nelson ran from his right and played it to Habibullah, Habibullah then held the ball for Nelson to round him and chipped it over the defence with Nelson alone to beat Paulson with a low shot from inside the box.

Canada had another big chance foiled by Paulsen in the 79’ after substitute Sean Rea broke in behind the defence. At the other end, New Zealand nearly made it 2:0 in the 83’, but Himaras had his chance to make a big save on the opportunity. Canada kept pushing deep into eight minutes of added time but could not break the New Zealand 11-man backline for the equaliser.


Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 after winning 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark over Concacaf rivals Costa Rica on 12 May. After 120 minutes in the Florida heat with no winner from a 1:1 draw, Canada won their ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time in six years.

This marks the seventh time that Canada advances to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the biennial competition that was initially launched as the FIFA U-16 World Tournament in 1985. Canada were the second hosts of the competition in 1987.


Brazil’s experience as a host of global football competitions dates back almost 70 years to the 1950 FIFA World Cup™. More recently, the nation staged the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, which drew almost 3.5 million fans to packed stadiums in 12 Host Cities around the country. While recent major events held in Brazil have featured stars at the height of their careers, the FIFA U-17 World Cup brings together the best young footballers in the world for a unique opportunity to showcase their skills on the international stage.

This marks Canada’s seventh participation at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and first since 2011. From past editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Canadian youth players that went on to represent the Men’s National Team include Paul Peschisolido (Canada 1987), Mauro Biello (Scotland 1989), Jim Brennan (Japan 1993), Paul Stalteri (Japan 1993), Patrice Bernier (Ecuador 1995), Maxime Crépeau (Mexico 2011), Samuel Piette (Mexico 2011), and Marco Bustos (UAE 2013).


Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.


Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Youth Teams have won two CONCACAF titles: both the 1986 and 1996 CONCACAF Men’s Youth Championships. Canada have now qualified for 15 FIFA men’s youth tournaments: eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and seven editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. By reaching the semi-finals at both the 2019 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship and 2019 Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship, Canada finished top-four in two Concacaf men’s youth tournaments in the same year for the first time since 2001.

SOURCE: Canada Soccer

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