Canada fell to Costa Rica 1-0 in an international soccer friendly at Commonwealth Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Canadians lacked significant cutting edge in the final third of the pitch and were shut out in front of a sparse crowd of less than 10,00o in Edmonton.
Jairo Arrieta scored on a penalty shot 15 minutes into the contest and that goal held up as the game winner for the Costa Ricans.
Canadian interim coach Colin Miller was nevertheless satisfied with his team’s display but admitted that the circumstances leading up to the match were less than perfect.
“It’s not been ideal preparations, but the performance here tonight shows that we are moving forward,” he said. I thought this was a very positive performance in possession.
“Some guys put in terrific performances. I’m hoping that with some of our senior guys, some of the MLS and European guys who were not available tonight, that we have the nucleus of something positive moving forward.”
Canada lined up with a plethora of youngsters in the squad and had to make due with only one practice together before the game and their unfamiliarity with each other was evident in the early going.
Samuel Piette missed the ball completely and hauled down Arrieta in the penalty area. The Costa Rican forward composed himself before beating Milan Borjan from the spot to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Canada created some good opportunities following the goal but Issey Nakajima-Farran and Randy Edwini-Bonsu could not convert.
It was more of the same in the second half as Canada could not hit the target. Tempers started to flare late in the game and both teams were reduced to ten men after Christopher Meneses and Nik Ledgerwood clashed near the corner flag.
Canada was not able create any decent chances in the final 10 minutes as they fell 1-0 to Costa Rica in what was hopefully a learning experience for the young squad.