Canada qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years on Sunday with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Jamaica in Toronto.
Goals from Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett and an Adrian Mariappa own goal secured all three points after Canada dominated against a Jamaica side already eliminated from contention in the CONCACAF region’s qualifying tournament for this year’s finals in Qatar.
The win sparked wild celebrations at Toronto’s 30,000-capacity BMO Field, where an expectant sell-out crowd had gathered to watch Canada clinch World Cup qualification for only the second time, having last appeared at the 1986 Mexico tournament.
Canada’s English manager John Herdman — who took over the men’s team in 2018 after a successful stint in charge of Canada’s women’s team — said the qualification was proof that Canada was a “football country”.
“You know what, you can play in a Champions League final, Canadians can play for Bayern Munich, and now they’re going to World Cups,” Herdman said in a reference to injured Canada and Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies.
“Canada is a football nation and we better believe it. We’re going to keep going. We’ve only just got started.”
After a dominant qualifying campaign had left them three points clear with two games remaining, Canada needed only a point from Sunday’s fixture to assure themselves of qualification.