Canada qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years on Sunday with an emphatic 4-0 win over Jamaica in Toronto.
Goals from Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett and an own goal from Adrian Mariappa secured all three points after Canada dominated a Jamaican side already eliminated from contention in the CONCACAF region qualifying tournament for this finals. year in Qatar.
The victory sparked wild celebrations at Toronto’s 30,000-seat BMO Field, where a sold-out crowd gathered to see Canada win World Cup qualification for just the second time, having last appeared at the tournament. of Mexico in 1986.
England manager of Canada John Herdman – who took over the men’s team in 2018 after a successful stint at the helm of the Canadian women’s team – said the qualification was proof that Canada was a “country of football”.
“You know what, you can play in a Champions League final, Canadians can play for Bayern Munich and now they will go to the World Cup,” Herdman said of injured Canada and Bayern Munich Alphonso Davies.
“Canada is a footballing nation and we better believe it. We will go on. We have just started”.
After a dominant qualifying campaign left Canadians three points clear with two games left, Canada only needed one point from Sunday’s game to secure qualification.
That goal was never in doubt, as Canada went on the attack from the whistle.
Larin could have opened the scoring after just five minutes, but his shot after Jonathan David’s run and rising pass was saved by Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake.
Larin made no mistake in the 13th minute to cash in Canada’s first goal.
A team move ended with former Portuguese Under-21 international Stephen Eustaquio splitting Jamaica’s defense to find Larin, who quietly hid the finish line to spark boisterous celebrations.
The rest of the time it was just a matter of when Canada would add to their lead as waves of red jersey players besieged Jamaica’s gate.
David should have doubled Canada’s lead in the 15th minute, but shot wide from eight yards and Buchanan squandered a golden-edged opportunity, picking up his shot over the bar in the 21st minute.
Jonathan Osorio went close with a deflected shot in the 34th minute, and Buchanan missed another chance on Osorio’s cross.
Larin was the next to miss, leading his shot just off the post to leave Herdman howling in disbelief on the sidelines.
But just when it looked like Jamaica might limit Canada to a goal in the first half, the resistance of the Reggae Boyz was finally broken.
David crossed from the far post, Buchanan lost his marker, took a touch and buried his goal in the lower corner.
This sent the house crowd into party mode and Canada’s dominance continued throughout the second half, with the hosts carving out one chance after another only to be disappointed with their finish.
Ultimately, however, the dominance paid off with seven minutes remaining when English league player Junior Hoilett picked up a pass from Buchanan and placed his goal past Blake for 3-0.
There was still time for Canada to take a fourth place when London left-back Sam Adekugbe launched yet another powerful foray down the flank.
The defender’s cross into space was met by Jamaican defender Mariappa, who cut his own goal shot.
“We’ve been through tough times,” Herdman said. “I knocked on doors to ask for money for this team and we did it. And we continued to believe it.
“I’m just happy for these guys. When I first took the lead and said: ‘We will qualify for the World Cup’, I don’t think they believed it. I’m happy for them because all these fans have waited and waited and waited, and they stayed with us – and we’re leaving. “
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