Interim Canadian coach Colin Miller suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Martinique in the opening match of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup infront of 56,822 spectators at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Sunday afternoon.
The FC Edmonton coach was just seconds away from a scoreless draw at the inaugural Group A match when Martinique substitute Fabrice Reuperne scored off a 25 yard rocket that beat Canada’s goalkeeper Milan Borjan two minutes into stoppage time.
“When you gave the ball away that many times we are going to struggle,” said Miller. “I do not take anything away from Martinique they are very dangerous team. We knew that they would be athletic and able attack as they were dangerous going forward. My hat’s off to them and fair play to Martinique, they played well until the end.”
The match remained scoreless thanks to keeper Borjan who faced 13 total shots on goal from Martinique before giving up the goal to midfielder Reuperne, the player who missed a penalty kick in a 6-5 shootout loss to Canada in the last encounter during the 2002 Gold Cup Quarterfinals.
In the second encounter of the day, forward Gabriel Torres scored twice to lead Panama to a 2-1 win over the defending champion Mexico.
Miller, who recently guided FC Edmonton to the best defensive record during the 2013 NASL Spring Season allowing just 12 goals against, is searching for his first victory in charge of the Maple Leafs.
He will have the chance to record that win in Canada’s next gold cup encounter against six-time champion Mexico on Thursday, July 11 in Seattle, Wash.
Miller commented: "Personally, I'd love to get that first win under my belt because it's very important to me. I don't want to say I was desperate but I'm as close to desperate as you can imagine. We've played some very good games during my time as the interim head coach. However, we have to do better against Mexico when we play in Seattle.”
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