Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio insists his team are not daunted by the prospect of a hostile sell-out crowd for Friday’s World Cup qualifier at BC Place Stadium.
A capacity crowd is set to greet Group A leaders Mexico for the CONCACAF qualifying fixture, with over 50,000 tickets already sold in Vancouver.
With Canada only two points adrift of Mexico after two matches in the fourth round of qualifying, the hosts have a huge incentive to deliver for their home fans in the first of two meetings between the sides in five days.
But Osorio is confident Mexico – in the midst of a 15-game unbeaten streak – can deal with the atmosphere, given the experience of the likes of Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado, Hector Moreno, Raul Jimenez, Hector Herrera and Miguel Layun in Europe.
“I think that most of our players have played in that type of environment,” said Osorio, who included debutants Orbelin Pineda and Alejandro Palacios in his squad.
“We have nine players that play in Europe right now and I think they are accustomed to that type of hostile environment.
“We have played in other difficult places like San Pedro Sula [Honduras] as an example and we had good results, so I don’t think they will be intimidated by that.”
This week’s showdown is the first meeting between Mexico and Canada since the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, when the former triumphed 2-0 in the group stage.
A lot has changed since then with Benito Floro in charge of Canada and star Orlando City striker Cyle Larin leading the line.
Larin, 20, has scored four goals in 15 appearances and the pair are confident of getting a result, ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
“We know that Mexico is a very good team,” said Floro, who named Scottish-born midfielder Scott Arfield in the squad.
“They have very good players, but we believe in our possibilities and we are going to play the game on equal footing and with no doubt that we can win the game. We are going to fight a lot.
Larin added: “I know Mexico is going to be a very physical team, a very talented team. It’s just going to be a matter of keep pushing through and hopefully get a goal.”