Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
TORONTO – After missing Thursday’s chance to qualify for the World Cup due to a loss in Costa Rica, Canada will seek to secure its ticket on Sunday at home when they host Jamaica in Toronto.
For midfielder Stephen Ostakiou, Canada will present a well-stocked roster.
“The whole country will play on Sunday. We are not alone,” he said after a practice session in the late afternoon on Saturday.
When asked about his message to fans, Eustaquio’s response was brief. “Be prepared to go to Qatar,” he said.
The goal is, when it’s 6pm on Sunday, for BMO Field to become the center of a national celebration, like King George V Park in St. John’s on September 14, 1985. Canada then beat Honduras 2-1 to confirm their place in their first – and only – World Cup, Mexico in 1986.
Tickets for the 19th qualifying match en route to the Qatar 2022 World Cup are all sold out. Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica is Canada’s only loss in the qualifying stage – the Canadians set a record 13-1-4 in three qualifying rounds.
The qualification method is very simple.
The maple leaf that leads the final stage of the qualifiers with 25 points (7-1-4) needs only one point to secure its place in the World Cup, which means that a win or a draw is enough. Canadians can also get their goodbyes if Costa Rica (5-3-4, 19 points) does not win Sunday’s duel in El Salvador.
The Canadians, who have a three-point lead over the United States and Mexico (6-2-4, 22 points), finish this international window on Wednesday with a visit to Panama (5-4-3, 18 points).
The first three countries will represent North America, Central America and the Caribbean in Qatar in November and December. The team that finishes fourth will face the representatives of Oceania in an intercontinental play-off which will be a last chance for a place in the World Cup.
With Sunday’s victory, the Canadian men’s team will ensure their top spot in CONCACAF in the playoffs.
“Honestly, I think we are the best team in CONCACAF right now and we have to act like that,” said Ostaccio, who plays for Portuguese club Porto.
The weather forecast calls minus four, felt minus 12, with possible snowflakes by kick-off time of 4pm.
“It’s going to be a crazy night at football,” Canadian coach John Herdman predicted.
We cannot retreat in front of the opponent. He added that we will take out the knife between the teeth. Taking into account the weather conditions, this will level the playing field, which will allow them to impose their strong game.
Herdman said Costa Rica’s loss was “the comeback we needed.”
“Let’s get back to work…At the end of the day, it’s a group of players who are going to have to qualify Canada for the World Cup and to do that, they’re going to have to work really hard against Jamaica on Sunday. All this in conditions that I consider really difficult.
It was a disappointing qualifying period, to say the least, for Jamaica (1-6-5, eight points).
Canada ranked 73 globally at the start of the qualification process in March 2021 while Jamaica ranked 47. Today Canada ranks 33 and Jamaica is 62.
Maple Leaf will have to dispense with midfielder Marc Anthony Kay, who was suspended for his yellow card during the match against Costa Rica.