Canada Lose in Penalties, World Cup Hopes Dashed Again
After two poor performances in the group stage, Canada gave a valiant effort this evening in Guatemala City against Panama.
The match was hotly contested with a relentless pace throughout but it would be the Panamanians striking first with Abdiel Ortiz scoring just before halftime to go up 1-0.
Canada would create more opportunities in the second half, desperate to get on the board and were rewarded when a juicy rebound bounced to Ian Bennett who scored in the 27th minute.
Canada’s all time leader in caps and wins, Josh Lemos was beyond stellar in net, making crucial saves throughout the match to keep Canada in it.
The match would go into extra time with each team taking a more conservative approach. Nothing would be resolved in the two extra five minute frames and it was on to penalties. Both keepers made clutch saves but none moreso than Jaime Londono on Ian Bennett who was shooting 5th for Canada. Alfonso Maquensi then blasted his final shot into the top right corner and that was the deciding factor.
Panama now advance to the semi-finals but more importantly clinch a spot into the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup later this fall.
It was a heart breaking finish for Canada as they again fail to make the World Cup.
Sadly, it is likely the last time we see long time veterans Ian Bennett, Eduardo Jaragui, and Freddy Moojen suit up for Canada after multiple tournaments of service to the team. If that is indeed the case then we wish them all the best moving forward in their career.