Canada develops Hoffer plan

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

EDMONTON -- It's no coincidence the one goal Austria scored in their tie with Congo Monday was provided courtesy of Erwin Hoffer.

Hoffer has 20 goals for Austria at the youth level and is the team's most potent striker.

So heading into their second game of the Under-20 World Cup, Canada may want to keep an eye on the Austrian star.

"He's a clever player," said Canadian head coach Dale Mitchell. "He has good individual qualities, but he's also tactically very smart.

"He makes good runs and can hang around for a while, like a lot of good goal scorers, and then hit you at the right moment. He's a player that for 90 minutes you have to be aware of and the runs that he likes to make."

It took Hoffer, 20, all of seven minutes to score his first goal on Monday. He blasted a rebound past Congolese goalkeeper Destin Onka to give the Austrians the early lead.

"He's quick, he's a good striker," said Canadian central defender David Edgar.

"He's a poacher. He scored a poacher's goal against Congo. We have to be quick to react to set pieces like that, unlike the Congo who weren't and the way we weren't on Sunday when Chile scored their second goal where someone lost his man."

Hoffer could have scored two goals in the game against Congo, but was denied a penalty opportunity after getting hauled down inside the 18-yard box. The play came late in the second half when he got a step on defender Jules Ondjola and was going in for a clear shot on goal.

"It's not a policy of ours to man-mark," Mitchell said. "But we do want to make sure that our players know that he's their key guy."


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