Skip to main content

Tosaint Ricketts' 16th career international goal was enough to give Canada's men's soccer team a 1-0 win over New Zealand in new head coach John Herdman's first game in charge.

With an almost overpowering wind blowing in off the Mediterranean Sea, Ricketts benefitted from a particularly strong gust in racing onto a through ball that was more hopeful than anything by defender Dejan Jakovic.

The wind played havoc on the All Whites' back line which made a mess of handling the situation, and the Toronto FC forward maintained composure for a cool finish past goalkeeper Max Crocombe.

Ricketts is now tied with Alex Bunbury for fourth all-time on the Canadian scoring list as he chases Dwayne De Rosario's Canadian record 22 goals.

Playing in the first camp since Herdman made the switch to the men's program from the women's team in January, Canada looked shaky in the first few minutes and could easily have fallen behind.

Michael McGlinchey beat Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan twice in the first 10 minutes, first with a shot from outside the penalty area and then with a header. Both of his efforts came back off the post.

Eighteen-year-old newcomer Liam Millar was a handful for the New Zealand back line as he went the full 90 minutes. Playing on the left side of the Canadian attack, Millar made a few teasing runs and won a few corner kicks.

A few minutes after Canada went in front, Millar had half an opening inside the New Zealand penalty area but a moment's hesitation allowed a defender to get back and close off the chance.

Millar was almost on the end of a Tesho Akindele cross in the 79th minute but was just a half-step late for a chance to score from close range.

Canada's next scheduled game is a qualifier for the new CONCACAF Nations League competition against the U.S. Virgin Islands in September.

Interact with The Globe