Canada’s Olympic football captain Andres Fresenga has admitted to nerves ahead of his team’s crucial qualifier against Mexico on Saturday.
If Canada beat Mexico they will qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 1984 in Los Angeles.
That drought has the Canadians on edge as the burden of expectation starts to weigh on their young shoulders.
“I’m anxious, I’ve never wanted to play a game so badly in my life,” Fresenga said.
“Preparation wise we are good, we are confident, but not over-confident.
“We just want to get it over with and get those tickets to London.”
Canada beat the United States and drew with both El Salvador and Cuba in Group A of CONCACAF qualifying to earn a semi-final berth.
They face a Mexico side who have won the pre-Olympic CONCACAF tournament five times and are undefeated in this year’s tournament.
Canada coach Tony Fonseca has admitted his side might be nervous ahead of the game, but still thinks his team will perform well.
“Anxiety could be a problem, but a lot of them have experience already in different areas,” Fonseca said.
“For once this stadium will be full, it’s something they don’t face too often.
“But I think it will be good for them, it will be a unique experience.”
The semi-final against Mexico will be Canada’s fourth game in nine days and Fonseca is concerned how that may affect his team.
“We had to look at our fitness, some of our guys were exhausted after three games in five days and they were a bit overwhelmed with the situation,” Fonseca said.
“Mentally they were a little bit drained.”