Canada's new era begins with a win against New Zealand
Tosaint Ricketts celebrate after scoring in a International Friendly on March 24, 2018 against New Zealand in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain (Photo courtesy Canada Soccer )

MURCIA, Spain.- Canada's new era under John Herdman head coach started in a positive way after winning a international friendly match against New Zealand in San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia, Spain last saturday.

After a scoreless first half, captain Dejan Jakovic had the excellent vision to spot Ricketts on the run. Jakovic played the ball over the defenders to Ricketts who chested the ball down, held his breath, and then fired it past the goalkeeper for the 1-0 lead. It was the 16th international goal of Ricketts’ career.

“This week has been about focusing on our identity, so coming away with the principles we have laid out was important,” said Herdman to Canada Soccer's website. “We need to be clear in our priorities on what is going to take us through to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but also towards winning at home at the 2026 FIFA World Cup that we hope will be played in Canada.”

Next, Canada looks ahead to the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying competition that kicks off in September 2018. Concacaf Nations League, the new national team competition platform created to maximize the match dates presented within the FIFA international calendar, features a 68-match schedule with Canada playing U.S. Virgin Islands away in September 2018, Dominica at home in October 2018, St. Kitts & Nevis away in November 2018, and French Guiana at home in March 2019.

The Concacaf Nations League has been created to provide an avenue for more meaningful and quality international soccer matches while uniting the Concacaf region through competition. The 2018-19 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying matches serve as a qualification route to both the next Concacaf Gold Cup in the Summer of 2019 and the respective classification groups to Concacaf Nations League in the Fall of 2019.