DENVER, Colorado – For Canada Head Coach John Herdman, every match is a great lesson to improve as a team, but Wednesday’s 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Group A 3-1 defeat to Mexico in particular will serve as a valuable learning tool for his team not only for the rest of his tournament, but in the long-term for Canada.
“We didn’t want to show everything tonight. We wanted to learn a lot from Mexico,” said Herdman in his post-match press conference.
“We’ve got an important game against Cuba which would qualify us for the quarterfinals. Tonight we lost, but we learned and we learned a lot,” added Herdman.
Against Mexico, Herdman made a number of changes from the team that defeated Martinique 4-0 in the first game, but then opted to bring on three of those players by the hour mark with his team down 2-0 in search of a spark.
It is now Herdman’s hope that Canada can get another crack at Mexico in a potential semifinal.
“We had a pretty clear plan coming through to the 60th minute and the goal was to make sure that the game was within reach. It was for a period of time in the first half and I was proud of the boys in the first half. I think they frustrated Mexico. Mexico scored when we only had 10 men on the pitch and that’s something we’ll learn from, so hopefully the weapons on the pitch are ones we would be able to use in a semifinal against them,” said Herdman.
A Lucas Cavallini goal in the 74’ brought Canada to within 2-1, only for Mexico to dash any hopes of a comeback with a goal two minutes later from Andres Guardado. Nevertheless, Herdman was pleased with his team’s spirit.
“I have to say that I’m proud of the effort of my players, they didn’t roll over. I thought we had the momentum on that goal we scored and to get sucker-punched on that third goal, that killed it a little bit. But generally, it was good learnings for all of our players, great experience for the young players,” concluded Herdman.