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Canada Holds Their Own Against the Best
By Erik Schultz
Posted June 2, 2008


Photo © Erik Schultz  

      Seattle played home to some of the greatest soccer players in the world last Saturday night. The world powerhouse, Brazil, came breezing through Seattle for a friendly against the Canadian national team. The only problem was nobody told Canada that Brazil was in town for a quick win. With each goal from Brazil, Canada came back with the equalizer. It wasn’t until the 63rd minute when forward Robinho scored that Brazil was ahead for good. Rocking the cradle and sucking his thumb, Robinho celebrated in style just like he has many times for his Real Madrid team. Brazil’s head coach Dunga, who played for Brazil in 1994 when they won the World Cup, praised Robinho for his “enthusiasm” and “motivation” for the game.

            The 3-2 Brazil win kept the more than 47,000 fans excited for a full 90 minutes. This was a warm up match for both teams who head into World Cup qualifiers in June. Brazil’s first goal came from an assist by Robinho to Diego, who drilled it to the corner of the net past Canada’s goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Julio Baptista came close to adding to the lead moments later but just missed a header.

Issey Nakajima-Farran missed a wide open shot

Photo © Erik Schultz  

Canada scored the equalizer in the 20th minute off a beautiful header by forward Rob Friend. Another scoring opportunity came for Canada in the 24th minute when midfielder Issey Nakajima-Farran was wide open on a breakaway. His shot went wide of goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

             Rob Friend scores off a header to tie things up
          Photo © Erik Schultz  

Luis Fabiano got the go ahead goal just before halftime with a hard hitting shot that brushed off the hands of Onstand.

Canadian’s Julian de Guzman hit the tying goal just after the second half started. Then minutes later Robinho slammed home the winning goal in the 63rd minute.

Each team had scoring opportunities but defense was just as impressive as the offense. Maybe it was because of Ronaldinho and Kaka’s absence or maybe Brazil just under estimated what Canada had to offer but they held on to this game until the end.

            Robinho scores to winning goal in the 63rd minute
            Photo © Erik Schultz

This friendly also served as a huge advertising opportunity for the new MLS expansion team, Seattle Sounders FC. The new Seattle team will take over where the USL Seattle Sounders leave off at the end of this season. Seattle Sounders FC opens the 2009 season at Qwest Field.

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