OLIVA, Spain — Canada was unable to get any offence going again Tuesday as the national men’s team closed out its first camp under new head coach Benito Floro with a 1-0 loss to Mauritania.
Adama Ba scored the game’s lone goal eight minutes into the second half. Canada had thoroughly dominated play throughout the game, a solid development for a young squad that continues to adjust to a new system.
"Apart from the one goal against us I think it was a superb performance," said midfielder Julian de Guzman, who wore the captain’s armband.
The result came two days after the teams played to a scoreless draw.
"I think we can only get better once the core of the team is finally picked out and there’s a lot more to look forward to," de Guzman added.
Canada played the second half with 10 men after defender Marcel de Jong was sent off late in the first half for two yellow cards.
Ba’s goal came on a ball that was played over the top. He was barely onside and beat goaltender Milan Borjan with a low shot.
The focus for the Canadian players here was on the performance rather than the result, and they were pleased that they dominated in possession.
"At this moment for us, the most important (thing) is to play well — to achieve all the moves in attack and defence," said Floro. "I think they played very well."
Canada had four corner kicks in the early going and nearly had a goal in the 33rd minute when defender Adam Straith played a high free kick to the right side.
Tosaint Ricketts ran onto the ball and drew out Mauritanian goalkeeper Souleyman Diallo. Ricketts played the ball across the goal to Nakajima-Farran but his powerful shot was blocked.
Canada pressed in the second half but couldn’t pull even. Crosses came in from all directions but they never found the mark.
"We weren’t concentrating as high as we could have but I feel like after they scored we did dominate the game," said Straith. "At the end of the game it’s not going to be good enough to just dominate and not score and not get a result at some point."
Mauritania was reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute when Oumar N’Diaye was given a second yellow card for a foul on Issey Nakajima-Farran.
Second-half substitute Samuel Piette had a chance in the 68th minute when he found the space to get off a low, hard shot. Diallo couldn’t hold onto it but there were no Canadians in the box to take advantage of the rebound.
Canada, which has had trouble scoring all year, remains winless over 10 games in 2013.
"What was missing was pretty much what’s been missing since a very long time and that’s scoring," said de Guzman. "Hopefully that’s something that we can work on going into the next couple camps but the purpose of this camp was to get to know how the philosophy of Benito’s football and for the most part I think a lot of the guys were able to pick up on that."