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Headlines from the past: The night international soccer came to Coquitlam

The Canadian men's national team was warming up for CONCACAF World Cup qualifying later in the spring of 1993.
The goaltender for the Korean natonal team punches the ball away from a Canadian forward in an international friendly at Coquitlam's Percy Perry Stadium in March 1993.

Stories from Tri-City News headlines of decades past is a recurring feature as the publication marks its 40th anniversary in 2024.

With Vancouver designated to host seven games in the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, Coquitlam’s taste of the sport’s global stage in 1993 was much more modest.

On a cool, dark night in March, Canada’s national team lost 2-0 to South Korea in front of more than 1,500 fans at Percy Perry Stadium.

The match was a tune-up for the Canadian side as it prepared to play in the third round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying later that spring.

But for Canadian coach Bob Lenarduzzi, the team’s effort was out of tune.

“We obviously lacked the finishing touch on our chances,” he said, adding the home team lacked several key players who hadn’t been released by their professional clubs in Europe.

Most prominent of those missing was hometown soccer hero, goalkeeper Craig Forrest, who’d just returned to action with his English Premier team, Ipswich Town, after an injury.

Still, Lenarduzzi said, the young players who did get a chance to play would learn a lot from their experience against another international team.

“In this game, our guys that are our future got a good chance to see what it’s like to play against a good side.”

The Tri-City News has covered civic affairs, local crime, festivals, events, personalities, sports and arts in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody since 1983. Bound back issues of the paper are available at the Coquitlam Archives, while digital versions of several past years can be found at