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Canada reach their first men’s World Cup in 36 years

Canada beat Jamaica 4-0 to reach their first men’s World Cup in 36 years.

Victory in Toronto means Canada are assured of finishing in one of the top three places in the final stage of Concacaf qualifying for Qatar 2022.

Their last World Cup appearance came at Mexico 1986, where they finished bottom of their group without scoring.

Cyle Larin and Tajon Buchanan put Canada 2-0 up at half-time before Junior Hoilett and an Adrian Mariappa own goal sealed the victory.

It led to joyous celebrations from the sell-out crowd at BMO Field as Canada clinched World Cup qualification for only the second time.

Canada head coach John Herdman leads his players in the Viking Clap as they celebrate
John Herdman, pictured celebrating with his Canada team, was appointed as head coach in 2018

English coach John Herdman, who led the Canadian women’s team to successive Olympic bronze medals in 2012 and 2016, has guided Les Rouges to Qatar in his first qualifying campaign in charge.

“We just qualified for the World Cup, this is a legit football country,” said Herdman, who last worked in England as an academy coach at Sunderland more than 20 years ago.

“When I first took over and I said, ‘We’re going to qualify for the World Cup’, I don’t think they believed us. I’m happy for them because all of these fans have waited and waited and waited, and hung in with us – and we’re going.

“I think this country never believed in us because we’ve given them nothing to believe in. They believe now.

“This is the time for everyone to get behind football and unite because we can be a powerhouse.”

The United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are all in contention for the final two automatic Concacaf qualification spots for the 2022 World Cup, which starts on 21 November.

Mexico and the US, who face El Salvador and Costa Rica respectively on Wednesday, need only a draw from their final qualification game to book their spots in Qatar.

Costa Rica, in fourth place, would need a big win against the US and for results to go their way to finish in the top three.

The fourth-placed country in the eight-team table earns a play-off against the winner of Wednesday’s final of Oceania qualifying between the Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

Canada's Junior Hoilett celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates
Junior Hoilett, who scored in the win for Canada, plays for Reading in England’s second tier
Canada fans celebrate
There was a capacity crowd of nearly 30,000 to watch Canada beat Jamaica at the BMO Field in Toronto
Canada players celebrate after qualifying to the World Cup
Qualification for Qatar ends a 36-year wait to return to the World Cup for Canada
Canadian players celebrate in front of their fans
Canada were the first from the Concacaf region to qualify for this year’s World Cup
Canada players celebrate after qualifying to the World Cup
Canada have won eight, drawn four and lost just one of their qualifying games to reach the World Cup

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