Canada is unbeaten in five of its six games since Octavio Zambrano (pictured) was named head coach in March 2017. (Photo: Canada Soccer)
TORONTO – Canada lost only one of its four matches in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, falling to eventual runner-up Jamaica, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.
On Saturday, Les Rouges gained a measure of sporting revenge, earning a 2-0 win over the Reggae Boyz when they met in an international friendly at BMO Field.
There has been a clear change in fortunes for the North American side since Octavio Zambrano was named head coach in March. The 59-year-old Ecuadorian, who has posted a 3W-2D-1L through six games in charge, believes that the result against the Caribbean power shows his squad is ready to take the next step.
“We are not far. We are not far,” he said after the match, when asked if Canada is getting closer to being able to compete against teams like the ones in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. “I want our guys to face that type of competition as often as we can.”
More experience in matches, like the one on Saturday, should help in that process.
“Talent is not the issue,” Zambrano finished. “We need to hunt down other things. We need to have more competitive matches against those type of teams. We need to face Mexico more times. We need to face the U.S. more times. We need to go down and play Costa Rica, Honduras in their fields. We need to go to South America and play the top teams from South America. These are the type of things we need to do as a country, as a national team.
“I think we’re on the right track.”