Bernier : Two of the biggest games for our country
With the Canadian National Team set to play Cuba and Honduras in its final two games of CONCACAF group stage qualifying for the World Cup in 2014; it’s hard for the players not to think about the importance of these two games.
WATCH: Important game for Bernier and Canada (0:45)
“If you look in the past, Canada has qualified for the World Cup on just one occasion and that was the last time the country made it to the final (hexagonal) qualification round in CONCACAF,” said Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier, who has played in Canada’s last two qualifiers. “These will be two of the biggest games for our country in a long time.”
And, these next two games will also be two of the biggest in Bernier’s international experience as well.
“Other than a semi-final appearance in the 2007 Gold Cup, these next two games will probably be the most important I’ve played in for the national team,” added Bernier, who’s next cap will be the 50th of his international career. “There is a different pressure when you are playing for country because you don’t have the time to develop chemistry and relationships like you do with your club. And you don’t have the chance to make up for mistakes because one slip up could cost you points and a spot in the next round.”
Canada will be without the injured Dwayne De Rosario, the country’s all-time leading goal scorer, but will still be the favourite when they take the pitch at BMO Field Friday night against Cuba at 7:45pm (ET). However, for a team that has scored only two goals in its last four games, Canada cannot take the game for granted.
“Cuba has some good individual players that can turn the tide,” explained Bernier. “They won’t be easy to beat. They have been in a lot of close games and we cannot afford to think we have those points in the bank. More importantly, a good performance will give us momentum for our final game against Honduras in our final group stage game.”
Bernier and his countrymen will then travel to San Pedro Sula for the final game of the group stage on October 16 at 4pm (ET) against Honduras.