After defeating Jamaica 4-0 in Toronto convincingly, Canada earned its first World Cup berth in 36 years. All three points were earned after a commanding performance against a Jamaican team that had already been eliminated from the CONCACAF region’s qualifying competition for this year’s finals in Qatar. Goals from Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett, and an own goal by Adrian Mariappa secured the victory.
It’s a delight to see Canada make the World Cup after so many years. Here we look at their path to their first-ever World Cup, their performance in the tournament, their key players in the upcoming World Cup, and their potential expectations in Qatar.
Canada’s Path To Their Last World Cup
The Canadian men’s soccer team competed in its first and only FIFA World Cup in 1986. Most of the team had played professionally, especially in the North American Soccer League.
- With victories over Haiti and Guatemala in the opening round of the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) tournament, Canada easily completed the first phase of qualifying for the World Cup. Since only the host Mexico and two other CONCACAF nations would qualify for the World Cup, Canada’s success in the competition was crucial.
- Canada, Honduras, and Costa Rica faced off against one another twice in the final round, once at home and once on the road. First, Canada held Costa Rica at a tie in Varsity Stadium. The journey to Honduras was fruitful because Canada defeated Honduras 1-0.
- The Canadian team was in the lead going into the decisive match versus Honduras after drawing with Costa Rica. Undoubtedly in what seemed like a fairy tale, Canada miraculously defeated Honduras to win the match and advance to the 1986 World Cup.
- Canada was placed in Group C alongside Hungary, the Soviet Union, and France, the current champions of Europe. Canada was eliminated in the World Cup group stage after losing three games and scoring zero goals. Despite this, the team’s World Cup performance inspired the athletes who came after them to attempt a second run. Despite the lengthy process, Canada has finally qualified for its second World Cup in history.
Canada’s 2022 World Cup Potentials
Canada is in Group F. They have been paired with second-ranked Belgium and Croatia, who finished runner-up to France in the last World Cup, and Morocco. Given their current ranking of 41st, Canada has little chance of making it past the Round of 16.
Currently, it’s hard to say if they can even make it out of the group stage. This is a tough challenge for Canada as they hope to do better than their first stint. The Canadian team making it out of the group stage alone is considered a successful run if they can pull it off.
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Key Players In Canada’s Team
Without a doubt, this young man headlines the Canadian national team. Most players are just starting to push their way into first-team squads at age 22, taking their first tentative steps into senior football. A résumé that some of the biggest retiring stars in the sport could only hope for. After four seasons of first-team play at the European giants, Davies has established himself as one of football’s most exciting prospects. He will now carry the weight of an entire nation into the World Cup in Qatar.
- Davies had already won four Bundesliga championships, three German super cups, two German cups, and one Champions League crown with Bayern Munich at such a young age. He is undoubtedly one of Bayern’s most important players, as he dons the left-back position with confidence.
- As he strives to shine on football’s grandest stage with a nation whose best chance of qualifying for the knockout stages is the group stage, Davies will be attempting to draw on his enormous success at the club level to do what might be dubbed the impossible for the National team.
- Although Davies has spent most of his career in Munich as an aggressive wing-back, national coach John Herdman may choose to use him higher up the field. The Bayern star scored five goals while playing an advanced offensive position for the nation’s World Cup qualification campaign.
Many people will watch from some of the biggest European clubs as David enters the field in Qatar. The forward, who has distinguished himself for Lille in the top division of French football, is reportedly the subject of interest from teams like Arsenal and Tottenham.
- The Ottawa native followed up a double-digit campaign in all competitions in 2020–21, which helped Lille win Ligue 1, with 19 goals in 2021–22. With two-thirds of the season remaining, he has already scored nine goals. Canada’s World Cup games might place David in the spotlight to help close a multi-million dollar move in a few months, with the transfer window set to open in January.
- David is quick, powerful, and at ease using either foot to shoot. David is not the typical striker. He can also be very effective in dropping deeper to link up play, putting in a shift defensively, and contributing to a team, rather than wanting to hang around the final third ready to pounce on the appropriate moment. He will be key to Canada’s offense in the World Cup.
Canada’s hopes of making it past the group stage lie mainly in their star players. They have players with immense offensive capabilities in Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David. They can be a dark horse in group F but it will take incredible effort and a bit of luck to pull that off.
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