The Canadian men's national team have officially punched their ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, recording a 4-0 victory over Jamaica at a festive BMO Field on Sunday, marking their return to international soccer's biggest event for the first time since 1986.
Cyle Larin and Tajon Buchanan each found the scoresheet in the first half, with a strike from Junior Hoilett and a late own goal also pacing Les Rouges, making for a stress-free effort as head coach John Herdman's group finished off their bid for history.
Canada were all over the visitors from the opening whistle, culminating with Larin's opener in the 13th minute. The 26-year-old Beşiktaş striker ran onto a through ball from Stephen Eustáquio and converted a clinical finish to the far post.
Les Rouges didn't let up, continuing to pile on the pressure in the aftermath of the opener. After several near misses, Buchanan added Canada's second just before the halftime whistle, controlling a deflected cross from Jonathan David right in front of goal and cashing home a close-range strike.
The outcome was a mere formality from there, but Hoilett added the first of two late insurance goals in the 82nd minute with a cheeky flicked finish that sent an already jubilant BMO Field crowd into a full-on frenzy. Just before the final whistle, Canada added a fourth after a deflection off Jamaica's Adrian Mariappa snuck into the net.
- THE BIG PICTURE: After missing a chance to clinch their spot in Thursday's away defeat to Costa Rica, Canada left no doubt this time around, putting in a comprehensive performance. It was a full-on party atmosphere at BMO Field in the second half, and deservedly so. The spectators witnessed the culmination of one of the most remarkable rises of a program in international soccer, which has seen Canada ascend from a Concacaf afterthought into the region's top team in World Cup Qualifying. Now that they're in for the first time in 36 years, Herdman's team has every reason to believe they can make some noise in Qatar.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: His team was already in cruise control, but Hoilett's highlight-reel insurance goal was the perfect capper to a historic result.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephen Eustáquio sometimes flies under the radar as one of Canada's most influential players. The 26-year-old was at his finest in this contest, setting up Larin's opener and pulling the strings as his side racked up chance after chance.
- CAN: Wednesday, March 30 at Panama | 9:05 pm ET (Paramount+, OneSoccer) | Concacaf World Cup Qualifying
- JAM: Wednesday, March 30 vs. Honduras | 9:05 pm ET (Paramount+) | Concacaf World Cup Qualifying