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Cubans to play with 11-man roster in WC qualifier vs. Canada

The Canadian Press

10/12/2012 7:24:11 PM

TORONTO -- Cuba has opted to play its World Cup qualifying game against Canada without substitutes.

The winless Cubans (0-4-0) listed 11 starters but no substitutes on the official lineup for Friday night's game at BMO Field. There was no immediate explanation or word on how many players Cuba brought to the country.

Canada (2-1-1) had 10 players on the bench.

The Cubans, ranked 146 in the world are just playing out the string, glued to the bottom of their four-team group.

A goalkeeper and 10 outfield players took the field for Cuba in the warmups.

FIFA rules says a team should consist "of not more than 11 players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either team consists of fewer than seven players."

Panama (3-1-1) hosted Honduras (2-1-1) in a later kickoff Friday.

The top two in the group advance to the final six-team round of qualifying in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

From there, three will advance to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A fourth CONCACAF team will take part in an intercontinental playoff with the Oceania winner to see who joins them.

First things first, however.

Canada is bidding to reach the final round of qualifying in the region since 1997 when it finished last in the six-man group with a 1-6-3 record.

The Canadian men have only qualified for the World Cup final once -- in 1986.

Canada opened this round of qualifying with a 1-0 win over Cuba in Havana in June.