Tosaint Ricketts nets two, Canada blanks Mauritania in international friendly

MARRAKECH, Morocco - Michael Findlay had a positive start to his term as interim head coach of Canada's national men's soccer team.

Tosaint Ricketts scored twice as the Canadians blanked Mauritania 4-0 on Thursday in an international friendly.

Goalkeeper Simon Thomas posted the clean sheet and also stopped a first-half penalty for Canada, which was playing its first match since being ousted from FIFA World Cup qualifying last month.

Ricketts started the scoring in the 52nd minute with Steven Vitoria adding another four minutes later and Marcus Haber chipping in two minutes after that. Ricketts rounded out the attack in the 80th minute.

"The players' reaction at halftime was positive and beneficial to what you saw in the second half," said Findlay, who was named interim coach last month. "You have to be happy with that transfer of attitude and ultimately the four goals we produced."

Thomas kept the game scoreless in the 20th when he stopped a penalty from France-based centre back Abdoul Ba.

Canada capitalized on a Mauritania turnover for its first goal of the game. Junior Hoilett picked up the ball, drove to the end line and crossed it to Ricketts, who tapped it in from a yard out.

Vitoria smashed a volley into the top left corner from eight yards out for his first international goal to make it 2-0. Haber converted off a Max Tissot cross for his goal before Ricketts had his second of the game.

Ricketts now has 14 goals in 53 international matches and ranks sixth all-time for Canadian scoring.

Canada continues its international friendly schedule on Tuesday against Morocco.

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