Canada qualified for a World Cup 36 years later. This Sunday, after beating Jamaica 4-0, they sealed their pass to Qatar, the second World Cup they will play in their history. The last time the Canadians played in a World Cup was when Maradona crowned herself at the Azteca Stadium in 1986.
The Canadian team won its ticket a day before the end of the standings. They’ve done it with a game that has kept them at the top of the table over Mexico and the United States, the usual World Cup qualifiers. Canada has won eight games, drawn four and lost one. Thanks to Bayern Munich full-back Alphonso Davies and two strong goalscorers Jonathan David (Lille) and Cyle Larin (Besiktas), the players led by Briton John Herdman took the deck at the right time. Herdman, the key on the bench, had already let Canada win in the women’s category by putting up a gold medal at the Pan American Games and two bronzes at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Canada’s success is surprising as it has only three elite clubs and they play in the US League: Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. The Canadian League was founded in record time in 2019. Most of its players have emigrated abroad to try out for clubs in Europe after the jump from the US.
The first time Canada played in the World Cup, they left with three defeats against very tough rivals such as the Soviet Union, France and Hungary.
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