A surprise addition to the lineup, Milan Borjan made the most of the opportunity as he held a clean sheet to guide Canada to a Group C victory over 10-man Guadeloupe.
TAMPA – Nothing fazed Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Not even a huge collision late in the game
Replacing Lars Hirschfeld in the starting lineup, Borjan helped the Canadians hold off a physical Guadeloupe squad for a 1-0 victory at Raymond James Stadium in Group C play, earning their first three points of the 2011 Gold Cup.
Dwayne De Rosario scored the only goal of the match on a penalty kick in the 50th minute following an illegal takedown of Canadian forward Ali Gerba in the box by Guadeloupe’s Stephane Zubar. It was the attacking midfielders first strike of the tournament.
The Canucks maintained possession for most of the afternoon as Guadeloupe was forced to play with 10 players for the second straight game. Jean Luc Lambourde picked up a red card just four minutes in following an overly aggressive tackle on Will Johnson, causing a small scuffle between the two teams.
"Obviously them going down a man helped us out a lot to allow more space in keeping the ball," said De Rosario.
There was a 30-minute stretch when Borjan didn't see much action before the Caribbean nation had a great opportunity on a counterattack midway through the second half. But Borjan played Brice Jovial's low shot well.
"They created some pretty good goal-scoring opportunities," De Rosario said. "At the start of the second half, we started flat and they almost scored a goal. The main thing was we didn't lose our heads in the game. We didn't let them get us a red card."
Borjan was taken down by Livio Nabab in the 89th minute. Nebab was handed a yellow card as the Canadian No. 1 held his face and rolled around on the ground for a couple minutes. Both teams once again pushed and shoved.
Borjan would remain in the game.
Hirschfeld, who got off to a shaky start to the tournament when he allowed an easy goal in the first half of Canada’s 2-0 loss to the United States, was pulled from the starting XI prior to the game.