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Recap: Canada clinches a spot at the 2022 World Cup

After defeating Jamaica 4-0 on Sunday at BMO Field, the Canadian men’s national team will be going to their first World Cup since 1986.

Canada celebrates clinching a spot at the 2022 World Cup after defeating Jamaica 4-0 on Sunday.
(Sean Pollock/Waking The Red )

On a freezing cold afternoon at BMO Field, Les Rouges got the job done in front of their home crowd.

Head coach John Herdman made four changes to Canada’s starting XI after their midweek loss in Costa Rica.

Mark-Anthony Kaye, Kamal Miller, Alistair Johnston and Atiba Hutchinson were replaced by Sam Adekugbe, Doneil Henry, Junior Hoilett and Scott Kennedy.

As Jamaica were already out of contention before this final qualifying window began, they were without big names such as Michail Antonio, Andre Gray and Leon Bailey.

Canada started the match on the front foot, putting pressure on the Reggae Boyz. In the second minute, Adekugbe put in a cross towards the back post which was slightly tipped away by ‘keeper Andre Blake.

A strong run by Jonathan David in the fourth minute led to a shot by Cyle Larin which was saved by Blake, the rebound came back to Larin but put the following shot wide.

Jamaica’s first chance came in the fifth minute as a dangerous cross was put into the centre of the box, but Canadian ‘keeper Milan Borjan came to collect the ball.

Canada opened in the scoring in the 13th minute through Cyle Larin - coincidentally enough, it was his 13th goal in this cycle of World Cup qualifying. The action began with some play from Junior Hoilett, who sent a pass to Stephen Eustáquio, and he then sent a through ball to Larin who did the rest.

The home side had a chance to double their lead a couple minutes later with a chance from David. Larin sent a pass to his strike partner as he then beat one defender before taking a shot that went just wide of the post.

Another big opportunity for Les Rouges came in the 24th minute. A David cross into the box found Tajon Buchanan, but his attempt was stopped with a crucial intervention by Vancouver Whitecaps defender Javain Brown.

Adekugbe ran freely down the left flank many times throughout the first half, and created multiple chances. One of his biggest contributions on a play came in the 38th minute when he ran with the ball into the box before cutting back a cross to Larin, but his first-time shot went wide.

Canada made it 2-0 in the 44th minute with a goal from Buchanan. A second phase from a free kick found David at the edge of the 18-yard box, he sent a cross to the back post which found Buchanan who took a touch to control the ball, then tapped it in.

Not much action happened for the first part of the second half, until coach Herdman made a triple substitution in the 62nd minute. Henry, Larin and Laryea were replaced by captain Atiba Hutchinson, Lucas Cavallini, and Liam Fraser.

A couple substitutes combined for a decent chance in the 77th minute, as a Fraser corner was headed on by Kamal Miller, but the ball found the hands of Blake.

Canada made it 3-0 in the 80th minute with a goal from Hoilett. On a second phase from a corner, Buchanan won the ball off of midfielder Ravel Morrison, played a pass through to Hoilett who toe-poked the ball into the far corner.

It went from bad to worse for Jamaica as an own goal in the 88th minute made it 4-0 to Canada, ultimately sealing the victory for Les Rouges. An Adekugbe cross to the front post was met by defender Adrian Mariappa, some miscommunication with Blake resulted in a botched clearance as it ended up in the back of the net.

The post-game celebrations were quite the sight, as the day culminated with a Viking Clap in the south end of BMO Field led by Toronto’s own, Jonathan Osorio.

Canada will take on Pamana at Estadio Rommel Fernández in their final match of World Cup qualifying on Wednesday night.

Kick-off is set for 9:05 p.m EST.