It’s been a while, but the Canadian men’s soccer team qualified for their second ever World Cup appearance on Sunday.
John Herdman’s men put in a devastating performance showing the world why they’re worthy of the biggest soccer tournament in the world. The players secured Canada’s first experience of the World Cup since 1986, beating Jamaica 4-0.
The strong breeze and small gusts of snow wasn’t enough to stop the BMO Field reaching its full capacity. A muster of 29,122 people meant that this was the largest attendance for a Canadian men’s match at the stadium. The team has still never lost here, and with the evergrowing support, it may be a while before they experience the sour taste of defeat in Toronto, Ontario.
“We’re going to Qatar, we’re going to Qatar. And now you’re going to believe us, and now you’re going to believe us… we’re going to Qatar.”
That is what the crowd chanted bundled up in warm clothing as they watched restlessly in the stands. Testing temperatures rising up to -6 weren’t enough to keep the sea of red and white silent, as they marched their troops to glory.
Within 13 minutes, the Canadians stamped their authority by scoring the first goal of the game through Cyle Larin. The Brampton-born forward broke the deadlock after he was put through on goal, slotting in comfortably. 1-0 to Canada. Another Brampton born Canadian Tajon Buchanan shot from close range from the scraps of a free-kick to make it 2-0. It then became 3, and then 4, and the Canadian players and fans could smell the sand and palm trees of Qatar. Sign, sealed, and delivered, it is done.
The most electrifying reaction came from Canadian left-back Alphonso Davies. Davies has been an integral part of the system that has qualified. He is also one of the best players in the world of soccer, and his starting role in German club Bayern Munich is an example of that. Bayern are one of the biggest soccer clubs in Europe.
Davies missed out on the team celebrations due to medical reasons. He was diagnosed with a condition that was detected this past year, known as “mild myocarditis.” Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle.
The left-back wasn’t able to bask in the celebrations with his team-mates and his fellow Canadian fans. However, he made sure everyone felt his overwhelming emotions through a live stream, capturing his reaction to the victory.
Davies bursts into tears and falls to the ground after the final whistle is blown. How can you not get chills from witnessing the excitement and happiness in his eyes?
A lot of the players and coaches had words of pride and exhilaration to share during the interviews after the game.
“I feel amazing, man. It’s the best feeling ever. Really,” said 39-year-old Canadian midfield veteran Atiba Hutchinson, talking to Canada Soccer. “We’ve been waiting for this a long, long time.” “It’s just a special moment,” he added. Hutchinson had failed to help his nation qualify for the World Cup in his last 4 attempts before this one. He feared it would never come, but it arrived with his fifth shot at it. Better late than never.
Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan expressed his unfiltered feelings when the interviewer asked him how he felt. “Un-f**cking-believable,” to which he replied, “I’m really proud to be Canadian, I’m really proud of these guys, I’m really proud of Canada Soccer,” continued Borjan.
Soccer fans could not contain their excitement either, as they showered the world with their contagious feelings.
The Canadian team missed out on World Cup qualification in a loss Thursday in Costa Rica, but fans at Sunday’s game say it was a blessing in disguise.
Nick Maffeo said he’s happy they did not qualify in Costa Rica, and got the chance to do it in front of a home crowd.
“It’s God’s plan, honestly. It was meant to be,” he told CBC Toronto.
Benedict Rhodes, who was also one of the attendees, posted a picture of the scoreline on his Twitter account with the caption saying, “What a day.”
Sara Poraria, another match attendee, also took to Twitter, posting her post match reaction. “Book your flights!!,” she said.
What The Future Holds
A win or a draw against Panama on Wednesday away from home will cement first place in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table for Canada. If they lose, they’ll have to rely on results elsewhere in the group.
The draw for the World Cup will take place on April 1, which will determine what the first rounds of the tournament will look like.
The tournament will commence on Nov. 21 in Qatar, and the men in red will be out for blood.
Published by: HOLR Magazine.