Party postponed: Canada suffers first loss in FIFA World Cup qualifying to Costa Rica

Mar 25 2022, 4:06 am

Canada will need to wait a little bit longer to officially book its ticket to the men’s FIFA World Cup, for the first time since 1986.

The Canadian men’s national team lost its first match in World Cup qualifying, losing 1-0 to Costa Rica in San José.

“It’s a tough loss tonight,” Canada’s head coach John Herdman said in a post-match interview with OneSoccer/Sportsnet. “We would have loved to put this team in Qatar, but we’ll save it. We’ll save it for when we get back to our hometown, and our own country.”

Canada’s next match is against Jamaica at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday (4 pm ET/1 pm PT). A win or draw will clinch a spot in the FIFA World Cup for the Canadian men’s national team for the first time since 1986.

The turning point of the match in Costa Rica came when Mark-Anthony Kaye was sent off in the 34th minute, as he picked up a second yellow card. It forced Canada to play the remainder of the match shorthanded.

Kaye bumped into Johan Venegas, and the Costa Rican went down like he’d been shot. It was pure acting, yet Kaye should have still known better than to put himself in that situation. The Canadian midfielder was lucky to have not been sent off in the 15th minute, when he picked up his first yellow.


Costa Rica took the lead late in the first half on a header from Celso Borges.

It was hard to tell who was playing with 10 men in the second half, as Canada dominated play, seemingly doing everything but score.

Tajon Buchanan put a header off the crossbar in the 74th minute, while Jonathan David hit the post in the 88th minute.

Canada held the edge in possession (67.9%) and total shots (18-11).

While they’re disappointed to not book their ticket to Qatar tonight, Canada is still in great position to qualify for the World Cup. With seven wins, one loss, and four draws, Canada remains in first place — three points ahead of both USA and Mexico, and six points clear of Costa Rica.

The out-of-town scoreboard was kind, as Panama drew Honduras, meaning the Panamanians can no longer catch Canada. USA and Mexico also played to a draw, 0-0.


Canada is still in first place (

“We’re a brotherhood. We’ll live and learn. We got a little bit humbled tonight with the result. It’s what we needed. This is part of the learning process,” Herdman added.

“We’ll get back to Canada, we’ll regroup. We love our 30,000 [fans] egging us on, and with this talent, and the passion, and the desire after this match.

“Yeah, we’ll be ready.”

Rob WilliamsRob Williams

+ Offside
+ Soccer
+ FIFA World Cup