Canada v Azerbaijan: Floro´s men seek World Cup momentum

Benito Floro thinks Canada’s match with Azerbaijan will serve as an important challenge as they look to return to form ahead of their crucial World Cup qualification double-header in September.

Canada meet Azerbaijan on Friday and then Uzbekistan the following Tuesday, with both games taking place in Austria, where they are holding a training camp.

The CONCACAF nation are in need of a boost having failed to score in their last four international matches and lost in each of their last three.

Two of those defeats came in World Cup qualifying, with a 3-0 reverse at home to Mexico on March 26 and a 2-0 loss in the return game four days later significantly damaging their hopes of reaching the final round on the road to Russia.

The results left Canada third in the Group A table with four points from as many qualifiers, behind Honduras in second on goal difference.

With pool leaders Mexico already through, only one of Honduras, Canada and El Salvador – who have two points - will join them in the final stage.

Floro’s side are in Honduras on September 2 before hosting El Salvador on September 6 and Floro hopes the two games against Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan can serve as valuable preparation for those ties.

“We consider both matches will provide us with a very good test,” said Floro.

“The European camp is important because it gives us time to practice and create new structures for our team and their communication.

“With every camp, they can learn and practice positive methods that will help them in the games.”

The only major player missing for Canada is Besiktas midfielder Atiba Hutchinson, who is resting what the country have described as a minor injury after a long club season.

Azerbaijan are also in need of a lift after winning just one of their 10 Euro 2016 qualifiers to finish fifth in Group H with only six points.

Robert Prosinecki’s men have struggled in their friendlies since, beating Moldova but then losing to Kazakhstan, drawing against lowly Andorra and suffering defeat in Macedonia.

Canada sit 95th in the FIFA rankings, while Azerbaijan are down in 133rd spot.

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