FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Canada defeat Jamaica to secure their first finals spot since 1986


Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan and Junior Hoilett helped Canada to a World Cup spot for the first time in 36 years with a 4-0 win over Jamaica on Sunday.

While Canada celebrated, Mexico and the United States will have to wait to know their fate, despite winning alongside Costa Rica, who also kept their Qatar hopes alive.

“Speechless. A dream come true,” said midfielder Jonathan Osorio. “We all dreamed of this when we were little kids and as Canadians it was impossible. Today the impossible happened. It’s an incredible feeling.”

Canada missed a chance to secure a place in Qatar with a 1-0 defeat by Costa Rica last week. It was Canada’s first loss in three World Cup qualifying rounds and sparked a six-game winning streak.

Fueled by the home crowd at BMO Field, Canada rebounded strongly against the Jamaicans, already eliminated from World Cup competition.

After the game, fans broke into Canada’s national anthem and Osorio led the crowd to a drum chant before the team danced on the field. Buchanan circled the field waving Canada’s flag.

Canada coach John Herdman was the first coach ever to lead both a men’s and women’s team to a World Cup spot. From 2011 to 2018 he coached the Canada women’s team.

In a post-game interview, Herdman was showered with champagne by Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

“Canada is a soccer nation, man. We better believe it,” said Herdman.

“And we’ll keep going. We’ve only just started.”

Canada are top of the table with 28 points in the last qualifying round, followed by the United States (25 points) who are ahead of third-placed Mexico (25) on goal difference. In Sunday’s late games, the United States defeated Panama 5-1 and Mexico defeated Honduras 1-0.

Costa Rica won 2-1 in El Salvador to maintain fourth place on 22 points and prevent the USA from winning on Sunday night.

Anthony Contreras scored with an overhead kick in the 30th minute, Christian Gil equalized a minute later and Joel Campbell put the Ticos ahead in the first minute of first-half added time. Costa Rica hosts the USA on Wednesday evening.

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