It was a mixed bag for Chivas USA's internationals this weekend. Defender Ante Jazic started and played 87 minutes for Canada as they tied the United States 0-0 in a dull friendly Sunday in Toronto. Meanwhile, Oswaldo Minda was included in the matchday 18 for Ecuador in their CONMEBOL 2014 World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires Saturday, but he did not see any action in a 4-0 drubbing by the home side.
Jazic started and played nearly all of the match for Canada at left back, and did an excellent job neutralizing the American attack on the day. While it must be said that the U.S. probably should have cruised over the Canadians, they were entirely lackluster and that probably helped Canada take control of the match. For their part, the hosts probably should have won the match outright, as Nik Ledgerwood had a fantastic goal called off during the first half for a foul called on Dwayne De Rosario. The foul itself, on defender Edgar Castillo, looked weak, but the assistant referee who was right in front of the action seemed to hesitate before calling the foul. Considering the setting and the occasion (celebrating Canada's national federation's centennial anniversary) as well as the USMNT's lethargic play, a 1-0 Canada win probably would have been a fair result. As it was, both teams came away unhappy.With Jazic's extended minutes in a good result, especially for Canada's defense getting a clean sheet, it seems likely he could get some time in Canada's next match, a CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifier against Cuba in Havana Friday.
For Minda, it was probably for the best that he didn't have to face the Argentine juggernaut. With goals from superstars Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, Argentina appear to be not only a good bet to qualify for the World Cup but to also compete for the title in Brazil at this point. For Ecuador, the marathon qualification campaign format from the region gives them a still-decent shot of returning to the World Cup. They are set to face Colombia, another talented team that has sometimes failed to deliver, in the next qualifier June 10. Perhaps Minda will see action then, in an effort to shake off the disappointment of the result against Argentina? We'll have to wait to find out, but best of luck to Minda and Jazic on their latest international adventures.
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