Canada in good shape returns home to qualify for the World Cup

A win against Panama on Wednesday at BMO Field in Toronto would take Canada to at least third place in the final round of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers.

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Canada has prepared well for its highest qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to date, and now it’s about using the home field after two successful away games.

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A win against Panama on Wednesday at BMO Field in Toronto would take Canada to third place in the final round of qualifying for the Concacaf World Cup. It would also give Canada five of a possible nine points from its three qualifying games in October, the first two played in hostile environments.

“We have gone to the United States, we have gone to Jamaica, we have gone to Mexico, we have played in heat, we have played at altitude, we have played on bumpy fields, we have played in front of a raucous crowd,” said the head coach of Canada’s John Herdman following a goalless draw in Jamaica on Sunday. “We have had two-day travel changes, we have had suspensions, we have had injuries and finally we have a chance to go home.”

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The top three teams from the eight-team qualifying group after a 14-match round-trip schedule, qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The fourth-place finisher moves on to a two-game continental tiebreaker against a team from another region for an additional spot in the 32-team World Cup tournament.

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Canada has only qualified to play in a men’s World Cup once, at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, and is playing in the final stages of the Concacaf qualification for the first time since 1997.

Heading into the game against Panama, Canada may be lamenting the inability to secure a victory in Jamaica. Canada had a chance of taking the victory as they were the best team in the 90 minutes, but could not convert. The result came from an emotional 1-1 draw in Mexico City last week.

“I think the Jamaica team was solid (Sunday),” Herdman said. “They are quite a formidable group when they commit to defending and playing in transition, and they are a tough team to play against. They did well. They have stifled us to one point, but have lost two points.

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“You have to win your games at home. I think we will be happier, I think we have to. We are entering a three-game winning streak at home and we really want to go back to our own country. “

If Canada can make the most of the home advantage and win the remaining five games at home, then it would be in control of its own destiny to reach Qatar.

A capacity of more than 25,000 is expected at BMO Field against Panama, and in November, Canada will play two games at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, with capacity for more than 56,000 spectators.

“That’s what we were waiting for, these three games mean everything to the players,” Herdman said. “Being able to install ourselves in an environment that we can control, where we are not watched in each training session and where we can put our rhythm and feel the love of our country.

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“We feel like our fans are behind us and we will feel it Wednesday night at BMO Field. We’re going to feel what it’s like to play in front of a packed house at BMO Field and then we’ll do it again in Edmonton. And it will be our moment, our moment to take it to another level and play in the conditions in which we want to play. So we are excited. It means a lot.”

After five games en route to Qatar, the eight teams in the region begin to separate with Mexico at the top with 11 points and Jamaica at the bottom with two. The United States and Panama currently share second place with eight points and Canada is behind with seven.

Costa Rica (6), El Salvador (5) and Honduras (3) are trying to get back in the race. Costa Rica travels to face the United States on Wednesday, while Jamaica is in Honduras and Mexico travels to El Salvador.

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Canada will host Costa Rica and Mexico and travel to face Honduras in the November window.

Getting a point in the United States in September and another in Mexico could be considered an advantage, considering how dominant the two are at home. However, Canada is putting out its most talented team in history, and so far Herdman and his staff have done an excellent job working through injuries, suspensions and short changes to put a competitive team on the field.

It could be argued that Canada was the best team in their five qualifiers so far, which is why they remain undefeated with one win and four draws. With three home games ahead on the schedule, Canada has a chance to move up the ranks quickly.

“We had some good moments where with a little more quality we could have earned three points in Jamaica,” Herdman said. “The Jamaicans had a great opportunity with a set piece, but other than that, there wasn’t much to do.

“Jamaica is a different team from Mexico, different conditions, different field. It is a completely different kind of game. The Mexicans will put a lot of pressure on you and try to play a type of soccer that gives you more opportunities in the transition. We’ll take the point and go home. “

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Reference-torontosun.com

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