International Fixtures

Canada on the Way to FIFA World Cup 2022

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Canadians have a reason to be excited. The men’s national football team will be participating in the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986. Canada was the first North American country to qualify and the 20th team to claim a spot in the tournament.  The Canadians booked their ticket by defeating Jamaica 4-0 in March 2022, subsequently topping the CONCACAF group. 

Canada can put down their success to the coach, John Herdman, and the recent crop of top-quality players. Many of them play in Europe at a high level, with some even playing Champions League football. It’s no surprise that the Canadian football team has improved dramatically in recent years.  

First time in 36 Years

After a 36-year wait, Canada will play at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It will be only the second time the Maple Leafs will play at the most prestigious football tournament on the planet. 

Older Canadians will remember how they fared in the FIFA 1986 World Cup, but younger fans might not know. It was not their proudest moment as Canada lost all their games, 1-0 to France, 2-0 to Hungary, and 2-0 to the USSR. 

Unfortunately, Canada did not even score a goal and were eliminated in the knockout stage. However, they hope to perform much better this time, and with their star players Davies and David, there’s no reason they can’t! 

Canada’s Star Players 

Canada finally has some world-class players at their disposal. Football is fast becoming a favorite sport in the nation because of its star players. Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Lille’s Jonathan David are the best two, who performed brilliantly in the World Cup qualification stage. Because of these top players, Canadians are also becoming more interested in European football, closely following Bayern Munich and the English Premier League. 

Traditionally, hockey is the most popular sport for Canadians, but football is catching up because of the national team’s successes. In recent years, Canadians have found a passion for sports betting, with the industry growing 123% from last year. Because of this, sportsbooks like Betano Canada offer even more football markets to bet on, including the upcoming FIFA World Cup.  

Throughout the qualifying, Davies was the main man. Normally a left-back at Bayern, Davies plays in midfield for Canada, and in his 15 appearances, he scored 5 and assisted 5. There’s no denying the talent Davies has, and is currently in excellent form for his club. His strength, speed, and passing abilities will be key if Canada succeeds in the World Cup. 

Canada can also thank goal machine Jonathan David for their World Cup Qualification. David made 15 appearances and scored 9 goals with 4 assists. His club form at Lille is excellent and is currently joint top scorer with Neymar on 9 goals. David has been heavily linked to many Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Arsenal. 

If Davies and David can link up at the World Cup, the pairing will be dangerous against any opponent. The vision of Davies and the finishing skills of David give Canada a good chance to progress past the group stages. 

Another shoutout must go to the top goalscorer in CONCACAF qualifying, Cyle Larin. He scored 13 goals and is also Canada’s all-time top goalscorer with 25 goals. At the club level, Larin plays in Europe for the Belgian side, Club Brugges. He is playing Champions League football but is struggling to make his mark at the club, only netting once all season. Nonetheless, his form for Canada is super and will be wishing to add to his goal tally at the World Cup. 

How Canada Qualified 

In the CONCACAF region, there are three rounds to progress to qualify for the World Cup. Group B consisted of Aruba, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Suriname, and Canada in the first round. Only one country can qualify for the second round, and Canada made mincemeat of its opponents. The Canadians won every game easily. Their best performance was against Bermuda, who they thumped 11-0. 

The second phase of qualification was a home and away fixture against Haiti, with the winner over two legs qualifying for the third and final round. Canada defeated Haiti 1-0 in Port-au-Prince and won 3-0 at home, which secured their position in the final qualifying phase. 

In the final round of qualifying, the top three teams in the table automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup. Canada finished 1st, scoring 28 points which was level with the USA, but because of a better goal difference, Canada just edged it. 

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