Canada vs Trinidad and Tobago

                    Canada edges outmanned T&T squad

                                                             By Norman Da Costa
                                       Toronto Star Sports Reporter

                    A vocal crowd armed with Canadian flags packed Varsity Stadium yesterday, but
                    unfortunately the national team was a near no-show.

                    Playing its first game at home since being crowned champions of the CONCACAF
                    region in February, Canada looked listless but still managed to pull out a 1-0 victory
                    over Trinidad and Tobago in an exhibition game before a sellout crowd of 8,870 on a
                    sunny afternoon.

                    Coach Holger Osieck was not overly concerned with the sub-par performance
                    because several of his European-based players were seeing action for the first time in
                    the two weeks since their seasons ended.

                    ``I cannot say I am disappointed,'' said Osieck. ``I didn't really expect a brilliant game
                    as most of our players were coming off a layoff, but we did create a few chances.

                    ``The important thing is that I saw some positives from some of the players and it was
                    part of our preparation for the World Cup qualifier next weekend,'' added Osieck, who
                    has a 12-game unbeaten streak dating back to July 9, 1999, when Canada lost 2-0 to
                    Saudi Arabia.

                    The only goal came in the 51st minute through midfielder Jeff Clarke. Clarke was
                    brought down outside the penalty area and Martin Nash's free kick, lobbed into the
                    penalty area, was powerfully headed in by Clarke, his first for the national team.

                    ``I will remember this for the rest of my life,'' said Clarke.

                    Canada had two opportunities in the first half with Paul Peschisolido missing a
                    glorious chance and minutes later Carlo Corazzin had his fierce shot punched over the
                    bar by goalkeeper Ross Russell.

                    Two more chances were wasted in the second half, while Canadian goalkeeper Pat
                    Onstad, coming off a knee operation, was not tested once against a second-string
                    T&T squad.

                    Ian Porterfield, the Scottish-born coach of T&T, left out all of his European-based
                    players as Canada is expected to be its first opponent July 16 in the semifinal round of
                    World Cup - that's if it gets by Cuba in the two-leg first-round games.

                    After meeting Honduras in another exhibition game at Winnipeg Tuesday, Canada is
                    away to Cuba June 4 with the return in Winnipeg June 11.

                    ``We had an obligation to play Canada since it travelled to Port of Spain in January,
                    but there is no way I would have fielded our top players,'' Porterfield said.

                    ``It gave me a chance to assess our younger players, of whom only two or three could
                    make the first team.

                    ``It was a friendly game so there was no pressure on the Canadians who got some
                    good practice before meeting Cuba. If we do meet Canada in the next round, it will be
                    another scenario altogether.''

                    If it overcomes the initial hurdle, Canada will be up against the likes of Manchester
                    United's Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy of Hibernian and Nottingham Forest's Stern

                    Osieck can be pleased with the form of midfielder Nick Dasovic, who returned after
                    being sidelined for six months, and defender Carl Fletcher, also injured prior to the
                    Gold Cup.

                    Olympic team defender Kevin McKenna, making his debut, was also a revelation.

                    Osieck's main concern, though, has to be team's lack of finish.

                    The strikers must convert half-chances if it harbours thoughts of making the finals in
                    Japan and South Korea in 2002.