Canada finishes World Cup qualifying in first place in CONCACAF region

Mar 31 2022, 3:04 am

Canadian men’s national soccer team has conquered CONCACAF.

Next stop? The 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Three days after officially booking their spot for the 2022 tournament in Qatar, Canada closed out the “octagon” — the final round of CONCACAF qualifying — with a 1-0 loss in Panama.

But due to other results falling their way on the final match day, Canada kept its top spot in the region, a remarkable first-time accomplishment for the men’s national team.

Gabriel Torres scored the lone goal of the match for Panama.

Cyle Larin appeared to tie things up with just over 10 minutes remaining, but the goal was judged offside after a video review.

Canada did miss an opportunity on Wednesday night, as the loss pushed them out of a spot in the vaunted Pot 3 ahead of Friday’s draw due to their lower world ranking that will be released tomorrow.

Canada finished the qualifying campaign with a record of seven wins, four draws, and just two losses, both of which came in the final March international window.

The campaign featured many iconic moments: an Alphonso Davies match-winning goal for the ages, wins at home over Mexico and USA, and a bizarre goal from team captain Atiba Hutchinson that put them on the brink of qualification.

Also qualifying on Wednesday night were USA and Mexico. USA actually fell 2-0 to Costa Rica, while Mexico beat El Salvador 2-0.

Meanwhile, fourth-place Costa Rica is set to take on New Zealand in an inter-confederational playoff in June for one of the World Cup’s final three spots.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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