"CONCACAF Retro" -- CONCACAF.com's newest weekly feature - closely examines a moment, game and/or event in the confederation's history.Through "CONCACAF Retro" you will revisit the region's most memorable people, happenings and crowning achievements.
Maple Leafs commence millennium with second-ever confederation title
Canada downed Colombia 2-0 in the 2000 Gold Cup final in Los Angeles to claim its second-ever CONCACAF men's crown.
Goals by Jason DeVos (45') and Carlo Corazzin (68'), plus an impressive display by goalkeeper Craig Forrest (the tournament's Most Valuable Player), propelled the Maple Leafs to their first international title since the 1985 CONCACAF Nations Championship, which earned them a first-ever berth in the FIFA World Cup finals (Mexico 1986).
"When I look back it was a surreal time for us," said DeVos, who finished his international career with 49 caps and four goals."It all started with winning a coin toss to get out of the group stage.
"Then beating defending champion Mexico on a sudden death overtime goal, which then was followed by great victories over Trinidad & Tobago (semifinals) and then Colombia, which concluded a very rollercoaster ride for all of us."
The road to Gold Cup glory began in 1999, when the Maple Leafs had to compete for a place in the CONCACAF finals through a qualifying tournament at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (October 6-10).Canada won the four-team competition with two victories and a draw, advancing along with runner-up Haiti.Corazzin led the way three of his team's four goals.
At the Gold Cup, the Canadians played Group D opponents Costa Rica (2-2) and invitee Korea Republic (0-0) to draws.Each of the three sides was even on points (two) and goal difference (zero).
Costa Rica ultimately topped the group based on goals scored (4), while Canada and Korea Republic remained level on all tiebreakers.In order to determine who would progress to the quarterfinals with the Ticos, CONCACAF conducted a coin toss, which Canada won.
In the first knockout round, Canada met three-time Gold Cup champion Mexico in San Diego.Ramon Ramirez gave the Tricolores a 35th minute lead, but the Maple Leafs were undeterred and adhered to the plan of head coach Holger Osieck (who today guides the Australian national team).
That gritty persistence was rewarded with seven minutes remaining as Corazzin struck to force extra time.Then, only two minutes into the first period of 'golden goal,' midfielder Richard Hasting scored the game-winner, ending Mexico's 16-game Gold Cup unbeaten streak.
The team's first trip to the Gold Cup "Final Four" further sparked Forrest, who went on to register consecutive shutouts against Trinidad & Tobago (1-0 in the semifinals) and Colombia.In each of those games, he stopped a penalty kick (David Nakhid v T&T and Faustino Asprilla v Colombia).
"Craig (Forrest) deserved the MVP award as he was the one of the best overall players from start to finish," recalled De Vos, the Maple Leafs' captain."He was a great teammate and gave you the confidence.
"He came up big for us when we needed it in the tournament, especially in the semifinals and final."
Forrest was also named the best goalkeeper, while Corazzin finished with the tournament's top scorer prize as Canada completed the sweep of 2000 Gold Cup awards by also collecting the Fair Play accolade.
The second confederation title still stands as one of Canada's major successes, since it became an affiliated member of FIFA in 1913.
"We didn't have much pressure or high exception as the other teams, however. we were well organized and our competiveness -- along with a little luck down the road -- made us the best team in that tournament," added DeVos, who is currently the Technical Director of the Oakville Soccer Club in Canada."The victory was very significant for us as we played for our country and the jersey itself."
By virtue of winning the Gold Cup, Canada qualified for its first FIFA men's tournament since 1986, when it competed at the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup in Korea/Japan.
Prior to the formation of the CSA (Canadian Soccer Association) in 1912, a Canadian team called Galt FC captured the gold medal at the first football event that was contested at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, USA.It was four years later (1908), however, that FIFA officially recognized the tournament staged by the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
Canada Roster - 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup
GOALKEEPERS: Craig Forrest (West Ham United FC/ENG), Pat Onstad (Dundee United FC/SCO)
DEFENDERS: Jeffrey Clarke (Baltimore Blast/USA), Jason DeVos (Dundee United FC/SCO), Paul Fenwick (Greenock Morton FC/SCO), Tony Menezes (Botafogo/BRA), Mark Watson (Oxford United FC/ENG)
MIDFIELDERS: Robbie Aristodemo (University of Tulsa/USA), Jim Brennan (Nottingham Forest FC/ENG), Richard Hastings (Inverness CT/SCO), Martin Nash (Chester City FC/ENG), Davide Xausa (Inverness CT/SCO)
FORWARDS: Carlo Corazzin (Northampton Town FC/ENG), Dwayne DeRosario (Richmond Kickers/USA), Garret Kusch (Mechelen/BEL), Paul Peschisolido (Fulham FC/ENG), Paul Stalteri (SV Werder Bremen/GER), Elvis Thomas (Toronto Olympians)
TD: Holger OSIECK
27.02.2000: Los Angeles, California USA; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (A: 7000)
CANADA - COLOMBIA 2:0 (1:0)
Jason DEVOS 45'+; Carlo CORAZZIN 68' pen
CAN: Craig Forrest - Paul Fenwick, Tony Menezes, Jason DeVos, Paul Stalteri, Carlo Corazzin, Jim Brennan, Jeff Clarke, Mark Watson, Richard Hastings, Martin Nash (89: Garret Kusch).Booked: Fenwick 28', DeVos 76', Stalteri 78', Menezes 80', Sent offs: TD-Osieck 86'
TD: Holger OSIECK
COL: Diego Gomez - Andres Mosquera, Gonzalo Martinez, Roberto Cortes, Faustino Asprilla, Martin Zapata, Jhon Wilmar Perez, Bonner Mosquera (46: Hector Hurtado), Mayer Candelo, Arley Dinas, Victor Bonilla (57: Edwin Arturo Congo).Booked: Asprilla 19', Congo 80',
A. Mosquera 88'
TD: Luis Augusto GARCIA
R: Peter PRENDERGAST (JAM)
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