Taipei City, Chinese Taipei (Team Canada) – Two goals scored by the Canadians lifted them over Malaysia by a score of 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon at the Summer Universiade.
Simon Kougnima and Connor MacMillan put the ball through the posts for the Canadians. Canada had a total of six shots on net with 56 per cent possession throughout the match.
In the fourth minute of the match, Kougnima scored Canada’s first goal of the tournament with a shot from outside the 18-yard box that dribbled by the Malaysian goalkeeper to give the red and white an early lead.
Later in the first half, Malaysia was able to even the score at one with a goal in the 32nd minute. A cross from a midfielder streaking down the right side of the field connected with a diving Malaysian forward who headed the ball into the net.
“Coming off the loss we had to Japan, we wanted to show that we could forget about it and turn around and get a win," said MacMillan. "In the first half, we got the goal, but then we dropped for some reason and they started coming at us again. We said at halftime to each other – we’re representing Canada, we have to play for pride and if we play hard, we should get the win. We played way better in the second half and won the game when we needed it.”
A scrappy second half saw a number of chances come from the Canadian contingent and Malaysia finally succumbed to the pressure in the 61st minute. Marcus Lees was able to deek a defender at the top of the 18-yard box and pass the ball to an open MacMillian to score the game-winner.
“Obviously, last game was very difficult against a very good Japanese team,” said head coach Miles Pinsent. “Getting knocked out of the round of eight was a disappointment and there’s going to be a bit of a hangover from that, but we talked about what we wanted to get out of the rest of the tournament and what we wanted to get out of this game. We ultimately did what we needed to do to get this result and I think the boys can feel good about their first win of the tournament.”
The men’s soccer team will take on the USA in a classification match on Aug. 25 at 4:00 p.m. (4:00 a.m. Eastern).