Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Belarus beats Canada in not so 'friendly'

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DOHA, Qatar -- The opposition coach was banished to the stands, there were five yellow cards, and a ruckus after a dangerous tackle.

Canada versus Belarus was a friendly in name only.

Vitali Radzionau and Uladzimir Khavaschynski scored to give Belarus, ranked 62nd in the world, a 2-0 win over No. 68 Canada on Monday.

The Canadian men had played Friday, losing 2-1 to Japan in another stadium in Doha. The fatigue showed, said acting Canadian coach Tony Fonseca.

"We did not play with the same intensity as we played against Japan," said Fonseca, who is the Canadian Soccer Association's technical director. "But the attitude was there, the desire to win was there. But we definitely lacked a clear mind to take advantage of a couple of situations."

It was a chippy game, with three yellows shown to Canada (Julian de Guzman, Marcel de Jong and Dejan Jakovic) and two to Belarus.

Belarusian manager Georgy Kondratiev was ejected from the match in the second half for arguing an offside call.

"I used to say that there's no such things as friendlies," Fonseca said. "Both teams are very competitive, they want to win and obviously they took it very seriously. ... Both teams showed great desire and they committed to it.

"I don't think there was anything really nasty to be honest."

But there was a melee late in the game when Canadian defender Jakovic was taken down from behind. That led to a shoving match between the two teams before the two referee's assistants came on the field to help sort out the confrontation.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 26, 2013 D4

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