Qualification for the World Cup | Canada is ready for the octagonal championship

(Toronto) Canada has taken the tough road to reach the final stage of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Neil Davidson
Canadian Press

Concacaf’s plans have changed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Canada ranks 59NS In the world, he had to go through the first round of 29 teams, then the knockout stage in order to get to Mexico (nNS 9), United States (nNS 10), Costa Rica (No. 10).NS 44), Jamaica (nNS 50) and Honduras (nNS 63) in what is known as the octagonal championship. El Salvador (nNS 64) and Panama (nNS 74) Follow a course similar to the one in Canada to qualify as well.

Canada coach John Herdman believes the longer term will pay off. The true value of this hard-earned experience will emerge over the next few months.

Canada has 14 matches to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 and fly to Qatar in 2022. Its journey begins Thursday at BMO Field in Toronto against Honduras.

This will be Canada’s first match on Canadian soil since October 15, 2019. Since then, the Canadians have played 15 away matches, setting a record 11-4-0, only losing to Iceland, Mexico and the United States (twice).

Herdman believes his team has mentally strengthened during their travels.

“A new mentality was developed during the Gold Cup, and it is the mentality that allows us to approach this match against Honduras without fearing anyone. We are not afraid of anyone at this time,” Herdmann said in a short video conference after training at BMO Field on Wednesday. Qualifying Round.

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“We know we have tough matches ahead, very tough matches, but we can be confident in our talent and our mentality. Tactically, things clicked.”

Few Canadian coaches have been able to say the same in the past. Herdman believes his group is ready for the next challenge. He said, “It’s about time.”

While first-round matches against Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Aruba and Suriname can’t compare to what awaits the Canadians, they can build on victories abroad during the pandemic with no room for maneuver. A standout against Haiti in the second round was a highlight, according to Herdmann, when Canada won 1-0 on hostile ground in Port-au-Prince in June.

Herdman could draw on a talent roster over the next few days, including Atiba Hutchinson, Milan Borjan, Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Stephen Eustaquio, Cyle Larin and Tajon Buchanan.

“I’m lucky because I think there might be four teams as deep as Canada through CONCACAF at this point in the competition,” Herdman said, citing Mexico, the United States and Jamaica.

After their match against Honduras, Canada will travel to Nashville to face the United States on Sunday. He will return to Toronto next Wednesday to welcome El Salvador.

Next month, Canada will face Mexico and Jamaica before returning to BMO Field for a duel against Panama on October 13.

Eight more matches will be played before the tournament ends in late March. The first three teams will get their tickets to Qatar. The fourth-placed team will play one last chance in the Intercontinental Playoff.

“The players know what is at stake and how important this moment is for our country,” Herdmann said. It is honestly a turning point. But we won’t let that add weight to our shoulders. We will have fun with our fans. We will take this opportunity and give it our all. ”

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The strategy is simple: win inside and steal points outside.

Under restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a maximum of 15,000 spectators will be admitted to BMO Field on Thursday evening.

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