Men's National Team
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Canada Dominates in Win Over Austria
Canada’s Tomasz Radzinski
Vienna, Austria – On a bitterly cold evening in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Canada’s Men’s National Team made the most out of its first trip to the land of composers, orchestrating a well-deserved 2:0 win thanks to two stunning strikes from second half substitute Jim Brennan.
Frank Yallop again sent out an attack-minded line-up with Ali Gerba, Dwayne De Rosario, and Tomasz Radzinski spread across the top, Sandro Grande tucked just in behind the front three with Adrian Serioux and Atiba Hutchinson protecting the back-four.
And the aggressive posture immediately threw the Austrians on the back foot, with the pace of Radzinski and De Rosario convincing both wingbacks to concentrate fully on defending.
But after the opening ten minutes the Austrians settled into the game and twice tried to test Kenny Stamatopoulos – the first attempt a volley from the top of the Canadian penalty area that drifted wide and the second a shot from Andreas Ivanschitz from just inside the area that sailed high after a well-worked short corner.
However, the chance of the opening half came in minute 20 when De Rosario stormed through the middle of the park toward a staggered Austrian back-four. The Houston-based striker used the run of Ali Gerba to split the two central defenders and suddenly found himself one versus one with Helge Payer. De Rosario rounded the stranded keeper but his shot was scrambled away by a recovering Martin Hiden.
De Rosario again came close nine minutes later when Gerba spun his defender quickly at the left corner of the Austrian box, then slid a delicate pass for an overlapping De Rosario. The winger’s shot was hard, low and on target but Payer got his angle right and kicked away the effort.
The closest the Austrians came to breaking the deadlock came again off the left boot of Salzburg’s Ivanschitz. But the captain’s curling free-kick after a questionable foul on Marco Reda curled just outside Stamatopoulos’ upper left corner.
Just before the interval, Radzinski found himself unmarked at the top of the six and a delightful curling cross from Mike Klukowski found him. But the Fulham striker’s downward header bounced just wide of the Austrian’s left post.
The second half saw the Canadians forced to make one change due to an agreement made with Energie Cottbus that would see Captain Kevin McKenna, who has a match to play in few days, play only a half.
McKenna was replaced by Jim Brennan. Brennan slid into the middle of the park with the versatile Hutchinson dropping into the centre of defense.
Just under ten minutes into the half the Canadians survived a scare when the Austrians had several attempts in and around the penalty spot blocked by several lunging Canadian legs and somehow managed to scramble the ball away.
Though the Canadians seemed a tad sluggish coming out of the locker room, the pace of the Canucks always looked threatening.
And in minute 64, the Canadians again came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock when Brennan sprayed a delightful ball to Radzinski on the right touchline. Radzinski carved the Austrian’s open with a teasing ball to Grande who cut back a pass on his first touch. Rob Friend had timed his run to perfection but his right footed shot just grazed the outside of the right post.
But the Canucks were not going away (and certainly did not want a bevy of missed chances to again dampen a stellar performance) and in the 66th minute, they found the deserved go-ahead goal.
Brennan was the first to react to a loose ball near the top of box and hammered a left-footed laser that nestled into the side netting for the match opener.
The Austrians came close immediately after through the left foot of Ivanschitz but it was the left foot of Brennan that struck again.
After a delightful fingertip save off a Rob Friend header, Grande swung a deep corner that was cleared toward the top of the area but unfortunately for the Austrians, Brennan again lashed a rocket toward the Austrian goal that took a slight deflection off Reda and flew past Payer for Canada’s second.
The Canadians then killed off the remainder of the game, preserving the win and the clean sheet for Stamatopoulos.
“It’s a great victory for us,” said Canadian Head Coach Frank Yallop at the post-match press conference.
“I thought we played very well this evening, especially on the break which we have been working on in training.
“I am not surprised by the victory because our performances of late have been very good but unfortunately maybe those results don’t really show that. So I feel that this has been coming for a while.
“We didn’t play particularly well in the first half but we looked very dangerous in front of goal and in the end probably should have scored more.”
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Ernst Happel Stadium Vienna, Austria
CANADA – 2 (0)
AUSTRIA – 0 (0)
Goals: CANADA – Brennan 66, Reda 70; AUSTRIA – none
Cautions: CANADA – Reda 34, Grande 61; AUSTRIA – Aufhauser 44
Expulsions – none
Referee – Dick van Egmond (NED); Assistant Referee 1 – Jantius Meints (NED); Assistant Referee 2 – Wilco Lobbert (NED); Fourth Official – Fritz Stuchlik (AUS)
Attendance – 9,000
CANADA: 1-Kenny Stamatopoulos; 2-Chris Pozniak; 5-Marco Reda; 4-Kevin McKenna (capt) (11-Jim Brennan, 46); 15-Mike Klukowski (3-Ante Jazic, 67); 13-Atiba Hutchinson; 6-Adrian Serioux (8-Patrice Bernier, 57); 10-Sandro Grande (12-Will Johnson, 84); 9-Tomasz Radzinski; 14-Dwayne De Rosario (vice-capt); 7-Ali Gerba (16-Rob Friend, 60)
Head Coach: Frank Yallop (CAN)
Subs not used: 22-Greg Sutton
AUSTRIA: 1-Helge Payer; 2-Andreas Dober; 4-Martin Hiden (13-Ferdinand Feldhofer, 46); 3-Emanuel Pogatetz; 5-Paul Scharner; 7-Joachim Standfest (15-Yüksel Sariyar, 85); 6-René Aufhauser; 10-Andreas Ivanschitz (capt) (16-Michael Mörz, 80); 8-Markus Kiesenebner (14-Ronald Gercaliu, 73); 11-Muhammet Akagündüz (17-Zlatko Junuzovic, 62); 9-Roland Linz
Head Coach: Josef Hickersberger (AUS)
Subs not used: 21-Andreas Schranz