Canada qualify the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for the first time since 1986
On Sunday, Canada’s men’s soccer team qualified for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, bringing the sport’s popularity to new heights.
They did it in style, thrashing an outmatched Jamaican team 4-0 at BMO Field on a chilly day to raise their CONCACAF qualifying record to 14-1-4 after three rounds and end a 36-year absence from the men’s soccer showpiece.
The victory, Canada’s eighth of the Octagonal round and fourteenth of the whole World Cup Qualifying campaign, assured that they would return to football’s grandest stage for the first time since 1986 – and that they would do so as the Concacaf region’s top team.
Canada fielded an aggressive assault team, with Cyle Larin and Jonathan David upfront and Tajon Buchanan and Junior Hoilett on the wings to put Jamaica under pressure. Alistair Johnston’s absence was perhaps the most shocking, as Sam Adekugbe’s return from suspension allowed Richie Laryea to line up at right fullback.
After a tremendous rendition of the national anthem at BMO Field, it was evident right away that Canada was up to the task. They took control of the game in the first few minutes, creating a couple of excellent chances while carefully building momentum.
Canada lit up their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Dream in the 13th min
It took only 13 minutes to get everything unlocked. Canada stormed along the left touchline with some rapid passing between Sam Adekugbe and Jonathan David before Junior Hoilett scooped it up and passed it across to Stephen Eustáquio at the top of the box. With his 13th goal of the World Cup Qualifying campaign, the Porto midfielder threaded a lovely ball into Cyle Larin, who scored expertly to make it 1-0.
The barrage of offensive opportunities continued; Jonathan David fired one just past the left post minutes later. Tajon Buchanan put one inch over the bar when the ball landed on him in the area.
After a couple of missed opportunities in the second half, Canada finally scored a second goal shortly before halftime. A cross from David found Buchanan at the back post for a smashing finish after more great buildup play.
The momentum continued after halftime as well. Coming out of the break, Canada appeared intent on adding to their tally, especially with the wind at their backs and the game being played toward the loud south end of the stadium. A chance shortly after the start of the second half nearly found Jonathan David with an open net, but it bounced harmlessly across the goalmouth.
Jamaica, who had already been mathematically eliminated from qualification before the game, made a few early substitutions to try to stop the bleeding, including bringing on Alex Marshall of HFX Wanderers FC, and they seemed to have a little more possession after the 60th minute or so, but Canada remained dominant.
On the other hand, Canada was soon forced to make some substitutions. Alistair Johnston, Lucas Cavallini, and Atiba Hutchinson were brought in by John Herdman, who received a standing ovation from the audience when his number was called.
Junior Hoilett found the ball on the edge of the six-yard box and lifted it cleanly over the goalie to throw the crowd into a new frenzy in the 83rd minute, after a handful of corners and quite a time spent in the attacking half.
The visitors did score one final goal, a terrible own goal by Adrian Mariappa, who put the ball in his net seconds before the final whistle.
When the final whistle blew at full time, BMO Field erupted in celebration as it was confirmed that the Canadian men’s national team would compete in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.