Canada Para finish in 9th place at the IFCPF Men’s World Cup
Canada finished in 9th place at the 2022 IFCPF Men’s World Cup, matching their previous best result at the biennial world competition from 2009. It marked Canada’s fourth top-10 finish in nine editions of the IFCPF Men’s World Cup since 2005. After posting a 1-1-1 record in group play, Canada beat Australia on kicks from the penalty mark and then won 1:0 over the hosts Spain on the final of the competition.
“We started the competition losing some key players, but this group grew through the competition and gained confidence throughout the IFCPF World Cup,” said Drew Ferguson, Canada Soccer’s Para Soccer National Team Head Coach.
Across the group stage, Canada lost 1:8 to group winners England on Tuesday 3 May, won 1:0 over Netherlands on Thursday 5 May, and drew 3:3 with Venezuela on Saturday 7 May. Canada finished tied with Netherlands on four points, but finished third on goals difference and thus missed the Quarterfinals.
In the playoffs, Canada were down 2-0 late to Australia, but then mounted their comeback on a pair of Samuel Charron goals in the final minutes of the second half (58′ and 60’+2). Canada took a 3-2 lead in the last minute of the first period of extra time, but then conceded in the last minute of the second period of extra time. Tied 3:3, Canada then won 5-4 on kicks from the penalty mark, with goalkeeper Ryan Watson the hero after he both scored and then saved a shot.
On the final day of the competition, Yuri Costa scored the 1:0 winner as Canada beat Spain on Saturday 14 May.
Across five matches, captain Charron led Canada with five goals and three assists. Costa scored two goals and three assists while Shaun Etherington and Diego Gilbert scored a goal each. Charron was Canada’s Player of the Match in the first and second matches; Costa was Canada’s Player of the Match in the third and fifth matches; and Watson was Canada’s Player of the Match in the knockout match against Australia.
Canada’s squad featured Lucas Bruno, Samuel Charron, Yuri Costa, Dante Del Cul, Shaun Etherington, Chris Fawcett, Diego Gilbert, Nicholas Heffernan, Duncan McDonald, Denis McGrath, Isaiah Smeaton-Katzenberg, Ryan Watson and Damien Wojtiw. Dustin Hodgson was named to the squad, but missed the competition because of family commitments. Goalkeeper Wojtiw, meanwhile, suffered a separated shoulder midway through the first half of the first match and returned home to recover.
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