Canadian football fans rejoice as the men’s team clinch World Cup spots

TORONTO – Canadian football fans rejoiced to see the Canadian men’s soccer team claim a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after a 4-0 win over Jamaica on Sunday at BMO Field.

This is the second time the Canadian men’s football team has reached the World Cup in its history and the first time since 1986.

The World Cup is considered the most prestigious international football event in the world, taking place every four years.

The 2022 World Cup will take place from November 21 to December 18.

“In a way I’ve been waiting 36 years (for this moment), but most of the last 15-20 years when I watched it closely,” said Rob Nootenboom, who traveled from Regina to witness Canada’s clinching moment. . “It feels like half my life, and I think it’s almost half my life.”

The scene at BMO Field was lively with fans coming to Sunday’s game ready to celebrate knowing that Canada only needed to draw or beat Jamaica straight away to see their team reach the World Cup.

Cyle Larin of Brampton, Ontario, scored Canada’s first goal in the 13th minute of the 90-minute match and from there the party began with the BMO crowd erupting into cheers and celebrations.

Or rather, it continued.

The celebrations kicked off well before the opening kickoff at 4 p.m. ET, with fans starting to flock to the BMO Field parking lot during the day to tailgating, and playing a few rounds of cornhole while high-energy hip-hop music rang out from behind a trunk.

“This is probably going to be one of the greatest sporting moments in the history of our country,” said Bruce Rayakovich of Brampton, who joined in last June during Canada’s World Cup qualifying campaign. “To be here for an event like that is an amazing feeling.”

Rayakovich came to Sunday’s game with his two sons, 11-year-old Bray and 13-year-old Branden, hoping that he would witness something special, and he was not disappointed.

In the 44th minute, Tajon Buchanon, another Brampton native, scored Canada’s second goal, sending the BMO pitch into a frenzy so that the vibrations of the swaying crowd could be felt from the press box.

At that moment, everyone in the building knew that Canada was absolutely guaranteed to head to the World Cup in Qatar and a sense of relief emerged in the boisterous celebrations.

And when Canada scored its final two goals in the final eight minutes of the game, thanks to Brampton’s Junior Hoilett and an own goal from Jamaica’s Adrian Mariappa, BMO Field fell into a frenzy.

“It has sunk that the team has qualified for Qatar, that we will be in the World Cup and this is the first time in my life,” said Benjaminn Wolff of Ottawa. “My dad remembers the days when Canada qualified for ’86, but I was born after that, so this is a first for me.

“I’m so excited, so pumped up and I’m really looking forward to seeing the team on the biggest stage.”

The historic victory drew reactions from among others Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian women’s captain Christine Sinclair.

“That’s what I’m talking about! Congratulations to the Canadian men’s national football team – taking us to the World Cup for the first time in 36 years,” Trudeau tweeted.

“We are going to QATAR,” tweeted Sinclair, who has represented Canada at five women’s World Cups.

This Canadian Press report was first published March 27, 2022.


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Clara Burton

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