When Canada scheduled their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against Costa Rica and Mexico in Edmonton, there was a clear intention in mind.
With options to play in Toronto or Vancouver on the table, Canada chose what was likely the coldest possible option — Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.
Halfway through the “freeze the opponents” plan, Canada achieved the desired result. It wasn’t pretty, but Canada won 1-0 on Friday night against Costa Rica in a game that was around 1°C at kickoff.
But Mexico presents a new challenge.
Mexico, who is coming off a 2-0 defeat to the Americans, sits second in the eight-team qualifying final round.
The Mexicans entered the November window ranked 9th in the world, but are expected to drop after falling to the 10th place Americans. Meanwhile, Canada has a chance to rise from its 48th place ranking, pending Tuesday’s result.
Temperatures are expected to be as low as -8°C tomorrow evening for the Canada-Mexico match, per the Weather Network.
It’s supposed to feel like -16°C Tuesday night at Commonwealth, with snow in the forecast earlier in the day as well as Monday evening.
“We’re Canadian, we’re built for this weather,” Canadian star Alphonso Davies said at Sunday’s training. “I don’t know what to say about the Mexicans… I hope they enjoy the snow, enjoy the weather.”
“We’re going to give them a fight,” Davies said. “There’s a lot of people that wrote Canada out of the competition, but we’re proving them wrong that we can compete at this level and make the World Cup.”
Currently, in third place, Canada (with three wins and four draws) is the only undefeated team left in CONCACAF through seven matches.
The top 3 teams in the final round will qualify for next year’s tournament in Qatar, with the fourth-placed team going to an interconfederational playoff.