The Canadian national team head coach expressed his pleasure with his side's performance in combatting poor conditions and inexperience en route to a 2-0 victory.The setting wasn't ideal, the weather was hot, and the opponent was full of scrappy, athletic players.
In other words, Canada's 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday night at Central Broward Regional Park in south Florida was a perfect preparation for Stephen Hart's side heading into the next few games of World Cup qualifying.
The Canadians dealt with an uneven field that is normally used as a cricket pitch, temperatures hovering around 86F at kickoff, and a ragtag T&T side hungry to impress. It took much of the first half for Canada to settle into the conditions, but eventually Hart's side asserted itself onto the match.
"I thought [in the] first half we kept possession well, we moved the ball well, but we really weren't penetrating," the head coach told CanadaSoccerTV after the match. "We created a couple of chances but we really didn't threaten them enough.
"In the second half we were far more dynamic, our movement was better, and quite frankly we should have scored more goals."
The Canadians relayed an improved second half into the two-goal win, although the result wasn't as important to Hart as the individual performances of his players, many of whom are on the fringes of the national team.
"I was pleased with everything in the second half," Hart said. "We defended well, we came up with the ball, we counterattacked and we built attacks very well. Our left side was dynamic - mainly because the right side of the pitch was a bit damaged - but I was very pleased with the second half."
National team stalwart Julian de Guzman, who assumed the captaincy after left back Ante Jazic was subbed off, echoed his coach's pleasure with the team's performance ahead of a pair of World Cup qualifiers with Panama early next month.
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"I think it was a very good workout," the midfielder said. " [We] got a chance to get some young guys involved, [and] also got a chance to work on some shape and things we need to work on going into the Panama game. One of those things is scoring goals and it seems to be improving.
"Guys are looking a lot more sharp up front and confident. We had a lot of chances, it could have easily been 5 [or] 6-nothing."