First-ever win over Brazilians for Canada

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:00 PM ET

In the category of great sports upsets, it would have to rank rather highly.

Canada beating Brazil at soccer is virtually unthinkable. Make that was unthinkable.

It was a shocker and stunner rolled into one as Canada's under-20 men's team ended a 10-game winless skid in the most improbable way - by beating Brazil.

"No one can ever take that off us," said birthday boy David Edgar who scored Canada's first goal in the 2-1 decision. It was the first time in a year that most of Edgar's family had seen him play live.

GOALLESS DROUGHT

The victory was Canada's first over Brazil in elite-level men's play. Canada's national team had earned two draws in three matches, including 1994's memorable 1-1 tie in Edmonton before a crowd of more than 54,000.

At the U-20 level, Canada had not scored a goal in losing four previous matches to Brazil. Canada fell 2-0 at the both 2001 and 2003 World Youth Championship as well as a 1985 contest in Acapulco. Canada's closest setback to Brazil came in 1987 when the Canucks were topped 1-0 at the FIFA finals in Chile.

The result did not sit well with Brazil's head coach Nelson Rodrigues.

"Brazil is not invincible but I saw a lack of determination,"said Rodrigues. "I'm upset. I don't like to lose and I passed that on to the players."

The Canadians heard Rodrigues giving his club a tongue-lashing at halftime. After the game, it was the Brazilians who were getting an earful of Canada's celebration.

GOOD CROWD

"We beat Brazil. What else can I say?" smiled Edgar. "None of them wanted to shake hands. You could see the disappointment on their faces. That bad news will travel back to their country and we did that."

Almost as encouraging as the result was the turnout at Commonwealth Stadium. A crowd of 14,250 was on hand which sent a loud message to FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who had roundly criticized Edmonton's support for international soccer and deemed the city "lucky" to be getting a semifinal matchup in next year's world under-20 championship.

"I don't think we should be worried by anything Jack has to say," said Jim Fleming, the former Canadian Soccer Association boss who is chairman of Edmonton's host committee for the '07 tournament.

"I think it was pretty significant that he made those comments in Toronto and not in Edmonton so I take what he said with a pinch of salt.

"The best way to answer his comments was to have this encouraging night."

Brazil's tour of Canada continues Monday in Victoria and then wraps up Thursday in Burnaby.

Canada snatched the lead in the 25th minute off a free kick. Will Johnson curled the ball to an unmarked David Edgar who froze Brazil 'keeper Muriel with a rocket volley to the top corner.

The Brazilians got the goal back in the 54th minute when substitute Diogo drove a ball that trickled over the goal line but the Canadians kept coming and were rewarded just nine minutes later. Brazil failed to clear the ball out of harm's way and Johnson took two strides before blasting a low shot inside the near post.

Brazil's late rally came close but a desperation clearing by Stephen Lumley prevented the game-tying strike with four mintues to go.

"It shows people that we can beat anybody," said Begovic.


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