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Football: A heartbreaking penalty kick sinks Canada in the European Nations League

Football: A heartbreaking penalty kick sinks Canada in the European Nations League

Canada failed to confirm its place in the Copa America after being eliminated by Jamaica in the CONCACAF Nations League quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The men’s national team won the first round 2-1 last Saturday in Kingston, before losing this evening 3-2 at home. The visitors had the upper hand in the end thanks to goals scored away from home.

The winners of the quarter-final matches are guaranteed a place in the Copa America, while the losers will have to play a knockout match in March in the hope of securing one of the final two tickets to the 16-team tournament.

“We were in control of the situation. “In the first half, we had four chances to score, but (Andre) Blake made amazing saves from dangerous shots,” Milan Borjan confirmed after the defeat.

“We have to sit down and look into each other’s eyes and tell each other what went wrong,” the Canadian goalkeeper added. this is unacceptable! With players like us, achieving such a result is unacceptable. I am very angry and as a leader, I apologize to the nation because we are not in the semi-finals. We have another opportunity in March to participate in the Copa America and we will do our best to come back and make our country happy. »

“It’s a big disappointment,” Canada coach Mauro Bello said. They made adjustments and were more aggressive. For our part, we were too careless and lost easy balls. They took the momentum and scored and we couldn’t come back. »

Canada, which had not been defeated since 2010 at BMO Field (15 wins and 7 draws), was on the right track after leading 1-0 in the first half, but the second half was disastrous.

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“In the second half, we went in like it was going to be easy. It’s our fault. They came out strong and they deserved it,” Borjan said.

“I’m disappointed because the first half was very good,” Bello said. We couldn’t put them away and let them get back into the game. »

Alphonso Davies opened the scoring in the 25th minute, and his shot touched goalkeeper Andre Blake, but the ball bounced behind him before crossing the goal line. Davis, who also scored in the first leg, earned his 27th career goal in a Maple Leaf jersey.

But Canada began to shine in the second half, when Shamar Nicholson scored two goals within 4 minutes for Jamaica, which suddenly took a 2-1 lead.

Ismael Kone restored the lead for the hosts soon after, but there was another dramatic turn when Steven Eustaquio’s arm grabbed the ball in the box.

The referees then awarded a penalty kick to the Jamaicans and Bobby Reid, the penalty taker, made it 3-2 to put himself in a position to win. The Canadians threatened in the final minutes without being able to close the gap again.

The UEFA Nations League semi-final is scheduled to be held next March, followed by the Copa America next July.