Canada's Kevon Black is challenged by Sascha Horvath of Austria during their FIFA U-17 World Cup match at Al Rashid Stadium on October 19, 2013, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
DUBAI, UAE – Shortly after taking the lead for the first time in the second half, Canada conceded an equalizer and settled for a 2-2 draw with Austria in a FIFA U-17 World Cup match on Saturday at Sheikh Rashid Stadium.
The Canadians had the brighter start in the hotly-contested Group E encounter, which saw the European side commit more than twice as many fouls as its CONCACAF opponent (16-7). An early Kianz Froese effort from just inside the 18-yard box was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Austrian goalkeeper Alexander Schlager.
Austria started to settle in and took a 1-0 advantage in the 28th minute through Sascha Horvath. Canada’s Elias Roubos inadvertently deflected an Austrian throw-in near the left side of his own box into the path of the Austria Wien midfielder, who hammered it past goalkeeper Marco Carducci.
Daniel Ripic almost doubled the lead a minute later, but his lashed attempt from the penalty area’s right side crashed off the left post.
As the action continued at a feverish tempo, Canada’s Hanson Boakai raced in alone on Schalger in the 33rd minute, but the goalkeeper charged out of his net to make an outstanding foot save just beyond the penalty spot.
Jordan Hamilton, who led Canada with three goals at the 2013 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, struck to make it 1-1 eight minutes after the interval. The Toronto FC youth product received a cross from the left wing that bounced inside the box, took a controlling touch with his chest and swept the ball into the net.
Shortly afterwards, Austria’s David Domej felled Froese in the penalty area and the Canadians were awarded a kick from the spot. Roubos stepped up and sent Schlager the wrong way, converting inside the right post in the 58th minute to put Canada ahead, 2-1.
Three minutes later, Nikola Zivotic knotted the score with a spectacularly executed scissors kick from 10-yards out.
In its sixth appearance, Canada is still searching for its first-ever win in the competition. The Maple Leafs will look to do just that on Tuesday against Iran, which tied Argentina 1-1 in its opener.