28th March, 2022
Canada qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years on Sunday with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Jamaica in Toronto.
Goals from Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett and an Adrian Mariappa own goal secured all three points.
Canada dominated throughout against a Jamaica side already eliminated from contention in the CONCACAF region’s qualifying tournament for this year’s finals in Qatar.
The win sparked wild celebrations at Toronto’s 30,000-capacity BMO Field, where an expectant sell-out crowd had gathered to watch Canada clinch World Cup qualification for only the second time.
They last appeared at the 1986 Mexico tournament.
After failing to clinch a finals spot with a 1-0 away loss to Costa Rica on Thursday, Canada returned home with renewed purpose and a chance to complete the job in front of a frenzied, red-clad, flag-waving, sold-out crowd of nearly 30,000 at BMO Field.
“I’m just so pleased we didn’t win in Costa Rica,” said Canada coach John Herdman. “This is how it was meant to be, I know why the football gods wouldn’t let us score, it was for tonight.
“We just qualified for the World Cup, this is a legit football country.”
While Canada celebrated, Mexico and the United States will have to wait to learn their fate despite picking up wins along with Costa Rica, who also kept their Qatar hopes alive.
The United States got a hat-trick from Chelsea midfielder Christian Pulisic as they romped to a 5-1 home win over Panama.
Mexico needed a 70th minute goal from Edson Alvarez to win 1-0 and avoid a humiliating draw with winless Honduras.
The victory for Canada puts the leaders on 28 points in the CONCACAF qualifying group, three points ahead of the United States and Mexico, with Costa Rica, who beat El Salvador 2-1, a further three points back.
The top three teams earn automatic places in November’s World Cup with the fourth-place finisher facing an Oceania team in an intercontinental playoff for another berth.
Mexico will host El Salvador on Wednesday, the United States travel to San Jose to take on Costa Rica and Canada wrap up their campaign against Panama.
Both Mexico and the United States require only a draw to seal an automatic berth.