After 12 of 14 rounds of the CONCACAF qualifying rounds, Canada has scored 25 points, ahead of Mexico and the United States by three, and Costa Rica by six quarters. Direct promotion to the World Cup in Qatar was to be won by three teams (the fourth will fight in the play-offs), and the Canadians did not use the first “match ball” three days earlier, when they lost against Costa Rica 0:1.
For the past five games, John Herdman’s side have been without their best player, Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies, who is recovering from heart inflammation. However, even that didn’t stop the Canadian team from rushing in, who weren’t among the favorites to be promoted.
No wonder – the Canadians in their 137-year history have only played the World Cup once, 36 years ago in Mexico, when they hadn’t scored a goal or a point. The teams of France (0:1), Hungary (0:2) and the USSR (0:2) proved to be better than Canada.
The football team in recent years has been considered a “national disgrace” in the country of nearly 40 million people, especially after the 2: 3 loss to Haiti in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019 (i.e. the continental championship). At the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Canada were only the 7th highest ranked national team on the continent in the FIFA rankings – 73rd, behind El Salvador (69th), and just before… Curaçao (80th). That’s why this promotion to the World Cup is so exciting, considering where Canada started from. And looking at the style in which she did it.
Canada did not disappoint this time. After 36 years, he is going to the World Cup!
Against Jamaica, at the Toronto stadium, Canada only needed a point to be fully satisfied. And she achieved her goal with a lot of confidence, winning the whole match 2-0. Canada’s goal was already scored in the 13th minute by Cyle Larin. For the Besiktas player, it was already the 13th success of the playoffs in two stages. Only Ali Mabkhout of the United Arab Emirates has more, as 14 goals, in the qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup, which is also still in contention for a World Cup appearance. Thanks to some great eliminations and a total of 24 goals for the national team, the 26-year-old Larin became the Canadian national team’s all-time leading scorer. The previous one, Dwayne de Rosario, scored 22. Just before the break in the game against Jamaica, Club Brugge’s Tajon Buchanan made it 2-0, and in the second half, Junior Hoilett and Adrian Mariappa added more two others. (own murder).
The aforementioned Larin or Buchanan aren’t even the team’s second biggest star after Davies. This is Jonathan David, 21, who celebrated the French championship with Lille a few months ago, and his national team record is 27 matches and 20 goals. Big European brands are already trying to get the young striker, at one point there was even talk of interest from Real Madrid, and it seems that the Canadian’s transfer to a club bigger than Lille is only a matter of time. In the World Cup qualifiers, Jonathan David scored nine goals for his national team. It is also played by two footballers with a league past – Milan Borjan (ex-Korona Kielce goalkeeper) and Steven Vitoria (ex-Lechia Gdańsk).
The English take Canada to the top. Before that, he did it with the women’s national team
For Canada, the World Cup in Qatar is just an introduction to what this young team will show in four years, when the world championships are held in Canada, the United States and Mexico. This is where the strongest Canada in its history must come, even better than the one who won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000.
John Herdman, the 46-year-old Englishman who arrived in the Canadian national team in 2018… of the Canadian national team, but for women, is to take care of it. He led her for seven years and not without success – in 2011 he won the Pan American Games with her, then won two bronze medals at the Olympics – in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). He also laid the foundation for the team that won the Olympic championship in Tokyo this summer.
When Herdman took over the men’s national team, it was ranked 94th in the FIFA rankings. He is currently ranked 33rd, which only confirms the tremendous progress the Canadians have made over the past four years. Their matches in Canada are followed by 50 to 60,000 viewers.
However, all of this has not been easy. During the team’s first training session in March 2018, there were two fights with the team members. – He blew me away. People told me that “it’s men’s football”, but I was against it. I told the guys you can fight your opponent, but there’s no way to fight each other and I don’t want to see him again – coach callback.
Herdman admitted he also wanted older team leaders such as Borjan and Junior Hoilett to “take responsibility for the team”. While the fireworks on the pitch are the responsibility of the youngsters led by Davies and David, the coach asks the older players to “spot potential threats to the team and elements of team play which, according to them, could work better”. The 46-year-old Englishman left his mark on a team that beat the United States for the first time in 34 years in 2019, which they repeated in January this year, and has now also scored four points against the Mexico.
On Sunday night, Herdman’s team also achieved their first major success, which is promotion to the World Championship. And especially in this style – practically securing 1st place in the competition of the eight best teams on the continent. As a result, Canada aspires to be the top team in the CONCACAC zone, throwing down the gauntlet to two traditional powerhouses, namely the United States and Mexico. In four games against these rivals at el. The World Cup in Canada did not lose a single game: it won at home and tied for away matches.
Here is the table of eliminations in the CONCACAF zone:
- Canada 13 matches 28 goals 23:6
- United States 12 22 points 16:7
- Mexico 12 22 pt 14:8
- Costa Rica 12 19 points 9:7
- Panama 12 18 points 15:14
- Salvador 12 10 points 7:16
- Jamaica 13 8 points 10:21
- Honduras 12 4 points 6:23
The top three teams will qualify for the 2022 World Cup, the fourth will play the intercontinental play-off with the best team from Oceania. In the event of a tie on points, the goal tally is decisive.
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