TORONTO (August 9, 2015) – Samuel Charron of Ottawa scored the winning goal with six minutes remaining in the match to lead Canada to a thrilling 2-1upset victory over the United States on Sunday in Football 7 at the Parapan American Games.
Canada evened its record at one win and one loss and is in third place. Argentina which defeated Venezuela 4-0 is 2-0 for first, followed by Brazil (0-1) while the Venezuelans are winless.
Charron, the 17-year-old boy wonder on the world number-10 Canadian squad completed a pretty passing play from Matt Brown of Fraserville, Ont. to send the home crowd, that included Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, into a frenzy.
‘’This is a big emotional win for us,’’ said Charron, who scored Canada’s goal in a 3-1 loss to Argentina on Saturday. ‘’We are a longshot to win here but we are Canadians and we are going to push through the adversity.’’
The victory was particularly memorable for hometown hero Damien Wojtiw, Canada’s goaltender in the second half, who made many brilliant saves. Just a year ago, Wojtiw was in the stands at the same stadium watching Canada lose to the U.S. for bronze at the America Cup. It was there he enquired about the possibility of playing for the national team.
‘’It’s incredible to be here and make an impact in a win against the Americans,’’ said Wojtiw. ‘’It’s humbling and I’m thankful for the opportunity and to coach Drew Ferguson for believing in me.’’
Seth Jahn gave the seventh-ranked Americans a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute but just four minutes later Trevor Stiles of Victoria tied it at 1-1.While there was no scoring until Charron’s heroics, it was end to end action almost the entire match with several chances for both squads.
There was some bad news for Canada as Stiles twisted his knee late in the first half and is possibly out for the tournament.
‘’When Trevor went down we had to change our whole style of play,’’ said Ferguson. ‘’We tried to slow the game down and try and get them on the counter attack. It would be a big loss for us no doubt. It doesn’t look good right now.’’
The players in football 7-a-side have cerebral palsy or a similar neurological disorder. There are no off-side rules and matches are 60 minutes (30 per half). There are four classifications and each side must maintain a line-up featuring players with varying levels of impairments.
Canada’s next match is Wednesday against Brazil, the number-three team in the world.
Team Canada Press office
Corey Beard | Marc Dorion