Canada successfully defends World Junior Championship title with win over Mexico
National team makes tournament history
Team Canada is sitting on top of the gridiron world with gold medals.
On Sunday, Canada survived losing one of their top players and also a near scare on the field as the team got past host Mexico 13-7 in front of close to 25,000 fans at Olympic Stadium.
With the victory, Canada made tournament history as the winningest nation at the tournament and the first country to win back-to-back championships. Canada successfully defended the gold medal that they previously won in Harbin, China in 2016.
Antoine Couture got Canada on the scoreboard first when he added a field goal to give the team a 3-0 with 6:43 left in the first quarter.
However, Canada would be dealt with a major blow late in the frame. With 3:17 left in the quarter, Jalen Philpot was ejected from the game due to a questionable targeting penalty. He made contact with a Mexican player while his brother Tyson sprinted down the field into the end zone. The touchdown was recalled after the penalty.
Just before the half, Freud Jean Ernst Cesar powered into the end zone to increase Canada’s lead over Mexico.
At halftime, Canada held a 10-0 advantage over Mexico.
In the second half, Mexico was pressing Canada. With 2:28 left in the third quarter, the team tallied a major to pull within three points of the lead.
Canada sealed the victory when Couture added his second field goal of the game with 11:23 left in the game.
Mexico tried to mount a comeback a couple of times in the last quarter of the game. Canada’s defence came up with timely stops including an interception by Eryk Bujalski.
Quarterback Andreas Dueck was named Player of the Game for Canada.
“The past two weeks have been an incredible experience for all involved in Mexico City,” commented Canada Head Coach Steve Sumarah after the win. “The players were amazing the way they came together to represent their country on such a big stage against the home team in front of over 25,000 people.”
“I am very proud of the coaching staff and support staff and the work they put into make this a special occasion. To repeat as World Champions is an amazing feat and I thank all the players as well as the coaches who have gone before us that paved the way with their success to show us the way. Going forward, I see how the world is getting closer and closer but this will only fuel the Canadian spirit moving forward.”
This post is also available in: French