Canada put on a show on Sunday by qualifying for the men’s World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan and Junior Hoilett scored as the Canadians battled out an overmatched Jamaican side in a 4-0 win in front of a loud, proud crowd of 29,122 on a freezing day at BMO Field. A Jamaican own goal in the 89th minute completed the scoring.
And the margin of victory could have been much more lopsided.
Canada (8-1-4, 28 points in the last CONCACAF qualifying round) dominated from the start, racking up scoring chances like firewood. The home side were leading 1-0 after 13 minutes and 2-0 at the break. It could have been 4-0 midway through the first half when the sun made its first appearance.
WATCH | Canada books its ticket to the World Cup with a resounding victory against Jamaica:
Jamaica (1-7-5, eight points) spent the afternoon in reverse. The game was over and dusted off after the first half.
The historic victory came 37 years after Canada qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico with a 1-0 victory over Honduras on September 14, 1985 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. they lost all three games without scoring a goal.
Canada soccer had its peak with the sixth-ranked Canadian women winning gold last summer at the Tokyo Olympics. Now the No. 33-ranked men, led by coach John Herdman, have time to shine in Qatar, while extending their lead to the 2026 World Cup, which Canada is co-hosting with the United States. and Mexico.
The Canadian men, who lead the eight-nation final round robin, also had a chance to seal qualification Thursday in Costa Rica, but lost 1-0 after playing two-thirds of the game with 10 men in the wake by Mark Anthony. Kaye’s red card.
This marked the only blemish on their qualifying route. Heading into Sunday’s game, Canada had outscored their opponents 50-7 while posting 11 clean sheets in 18 three-round qualifying games (13-1-4).
On a cold day, Canada came out hot and were rewarded for their dominance in the 13th minute when, after a lightning fast counter-attack, Hoilett squared the ball to Stephen Eustáquio who threaded the needle to place Larin behind defense. The Besiktas forward calmly slipped the ball past goalkeeper Andre Blake for his 24th goal for Canada, extending his national men’s goalscoring record.
WATCH | Larin brand beauty to open brand for Canada:
Buchanan made it 2-0 in the 44th minute as Jamaica failed to manage a free kick the Club Brugge winger deserved after being brought down midway through several passes. A defender deflected a header from Eustáquio’s free-kick, but it fell directly on Jonathan David, whose cross fell at Buchanan’s feet in front of goal.
WATCH | Buchanan increases the Canadian lead before the end of the 1st half:
He celebrated the goal with his trademark backflip.
Hoilett made it 3-0 in the 83rd after Buchanan snatched the ball from a defender after a corner and fed the veteran Hoilett, who ran through the penalty area and beat Blake for his 14th goal for Canada.
Canada was without Kaye, suspended after being sent off for two yellows in Costa Rica.
In the following matches on Sunday, it was Costa Rica in El Salvador, Panama in the United States and Mexico in Honduras.
The Canadians, who concluded qualifying on Wednesday in Panama, only needed a draw on Sunday to qualify. Other qualifying routes were if Costa Rica did not win or a Panama victory over the United States
The top three teams qualify for Qatar as representatives of North and Central America and the Caribbean, while the fourth runner-up faces a team from Oceania in an intercontinental match to see who will join them.