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Canada advance to the final stage of World Cup Qualifying for the first time since 1998

What a night for Canada Soccer. History.

United States v Canada - CONCACAF Nations League
Alphonso Davies #12 of Canada celebrates his goal during a game between Canada and USMNT at BMO Field on October 15, 2019
(Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty)

TORONTO, Canada—It’s impossible to overstate what this means.

For the first time since 1998, the Canadian men’s national team are moving on to the final stage of 2022 World Cup Qualifying, defeating Haiti 3-0 (4-0 on aggregate) Tuesday night in the second round of CONCACAF qualifiers.

With Canada protecting a one-goal lead heading into this game, John Herdman made one change to his side from the opening leg over the weekend, bringing in Doneil Henry in place of Toronto FC’s Richie Laryea.

The move paid off in the first half as the Canadians gave Haiti little to work with, doing well to put out any sight of danger that came their way. Unfortunately for les rouges, they didn’t really create a ton of chances themselves, but before the break, they did threaten off a corner when centreback Steven Vitória’s header was cleared off the line.

Despite Canada pushing, the game would head into the half-time interval scoreless, with nerves starting to set in for Canadian soccer fans watching the match back home.

However, just moments into the second half, Canada—for once—caught a major break when Haiti goalkeeper Josué Duverger, who was born in Canada and grew up in Montreal, had one of the worst blunders you’ll ever see. Words can’t really describe just how bad the play was, so just watch the video.

That goal would set the tone for the rest of the match as Canada would stay on the front foot. And in the 76th minute, Cyle Larin, who has been on an absolute tear in 2021, would put this contest to bed, scoring what’s likely his biggest goal for Canada—an incredible touch on a ball over the top before calmly slotting home.

Before the night was over, Junior Hoilett would get in on the fun, netting home his own rebound, putting Canada up 3-0 on the night and sending his side and Canadian soccer fans off with a smile.

So with the two-legged win, Canada has advanced to the eight-team third round stage alongside the likes of Mexico, the US and Costa Rica. Looking ahead, they’ll now play 14 matches between September and March, beginning with a game against Honduras.

As mentioned, it’s the first time in 24 years that Canada’s men have reached this stage, and the magnitude of this accomplishment should not be overlooked. Truly a magical, historic night for Canadian soccer.