Must win situation

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Canada needs a win to have any hope of advancing past the first round at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

And to have any hope of winning, Canada needs, at the very least, a goal.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean the Canadians will shed their defensive shackles going up against Congo tonight in the second game of a double-header at Commonwealth Stadium.

"Whether we have to be a more offensive side, I don't know," said Canadian head coach Dale Mitchell. "You have to respect who you're playing against. Certainly at this level that's always the balancing act. The more you impose yourself on the game and open yourself up - if you are not able to do that - then the other team can hurt you coming back the other way. Certainly with the speed and skill Congo has, they're capable of doing that."

Through the first two games Canada has done little offensively. They barely touched the ball in their opener against Chile, then looked lost in their second game as Austria hung back and dared them attack.

It was only after they fell a goal down that Canada abandoned their defensive formation and pushed another striker up front.

"We're looking at what we're going to do tactically and it's probably not a good idea to get it out there publicly," said Mitchell. "Clearly we haven't scored yet and we have to look at a way to be more dangerous and find a way to put the ball in the back of the net."

The Canadians claim to have offensive talent. However the only player to look remotely dangerous thus far has been winger Jaime Peters. But even he has been limited.

"He's been clearly scouted in this tournament," Mitchell said.

"Our opponents know Jaime is a big part of our team and as soon as he gets the ball there are two or three guys around him. It makes it difficult for Jaime when he's surrounded every time he gets the ball."

Congo also needs to win to have a chance of advancing. But unlike Canada they have shown signs of offensive flare.

They dominated portions of their match against Austria and did manage eight shots - two on target - against Chile despite playing a man short for most of the game.

"I don't think it's in their nature to sit back," Mitchell said. "They're pretty positive in their approach, they want to go for goals. That's the way they approach most of their games and that's why they've been very successful in getting here.

"They probably think they should have had a little more in their first game and their second game was obviously affected by the sending off. But I think they'll look to go forward and try and score goals."

Canada may have to do the same especially, if when it all shakes down, goal difference might be a factor in what team goes through to the next round. Canada heads into tonight with a -4 differential.

"I don't think we're going to go out there and go crazy offensively because they're going to need the win as well," said Canadian midfielder Will Johnson. "We're going to go out there and be solid and play our game. We had chances the last game and in this game we need to finish some of those chances. It's our last lifeline here, so we have to score some goals and win this game."


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