Canada are one win away from their first World Cup in 36 years. They need just two points from their final three games to ensure qualification and tonight’s fixture against Costa Rica could see them seal their place in Qatar. Ahead of this historic moment, we look how their qualification campaign has been so far, what’s to come and how the soccer betting looks.
The Story so Far
Like all teams who get to this stage via the Concacaf qualification stage, for fans and players alike, it has been a long-drawn-out process. However, the Canucks have been making it look easy from the start. They cruised through the Round 1 stage, topping Group B, scoring a whopping 27 goals in four games and conceding just once along the way.
CANADA is on the verge of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup – a win tonight books our spot! ✅
Catch the #CanMNT in World Cup Qualifying action vs. Costa Rica, w/ 1-HOUR pre- & post-game coverage on OneSoccer 🇨🇦
— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) March 24, 2022
Naturally, this impressive early performance led to early optimism that the team would reach Qatar with ease. So, many were surprised to see just a shaky 1-0 win against Haiti in their first Round 2 game in June. Any concerns were put to bed three days later in the return leg when they cruised to a 3-0 victory – albeit somewhat helped along the way by a ridiculous own goal shortly after the break by the Haitian goalkeeper, Josue Duverger.
In the final round of qualification, Canada have not had it all their own way either. Only winning one of their first five games, including a disappointing draw 1-1 with Honduras, which gifted the Hondurans one of just three points they secured in this part of the process. Fortunately, they bounced back in impressive fashion and have now won six on the bounce. This includes impressive wins over fierce rivals, the United States, and Mexico, who they had not beaten for 21 years.
Thanks to these performances, Canada are still unbeaten throughout the entire qualification process so far – having conceded just six times and racked up 50 goals. Owing to this, they have been by far the most consistent performing team in Concacaf and are truly worthy of their as-good-as-qualified position.
Who Stands in their Way
With three games remaining, first up is a tough game at Costa Rica tonight. In their first match, it finished with a narrow 1-0 win, so qualification isn’t sewn up for them just yet and they have some work to do still.
Whatever happens tonight, this match is followed by the visit of second-bottom Jamaica on Sunday. While they drew last time, with the form the Canucks have been in lately, they should secure their spot in the finals in that match if they fail to do so against Costa Rica this evening.
They will finish their qualification campaign in Toronto against a Panama team that they delivered a 4-1 thrashing to in their first match in this stage. On paper, Canada should make lightwork of their final few games but the sooner they wrap it up, the sooner preparation for Qatar can begin.
Players to Watch
As a testament to their ferocity going forward, Canada boasts both the first and second-leading goalscorers in Concacaf qualification, Cyle Larin and Jonathan David. Larin has netted 12 times in qualification. These goals included a hat-trick against Bermuda and both goals in that historic victory against Mexico. Thanks to his valiant effort in the qualification process so far, Larin overtook Dwayne De Rosario to become Canada’s all-time leading goal scorer with 23 goals in 47 appearances for his country.
With three games left in the qualification process and Qatar looking likely in December, he will be looking to build on that tally and assert himself as a legendary marksman for Canada. Hot on his heels is Jonathan David, five-years Larin’s junior, the up-and-coming youngster who plies his trade for Lille in the French Ligue One, found the back of the net nine times in qualification so far.
These include a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Suriname in Round 1 and then five goals in the final group stage. This puts him third in the all-time goalscoring records for Canada, having scored 20 times in 27 appearances for his county. Still with a long career ahead of him, David will be making a big splash on the international stage in December, if all goes well.
Naturally, either of these players are a great shout for any goalscorer bets you are looking to place on any of these remaining three games in the qualifying campaign. David is at +480 to notch first tonight with Larin close behind at +575.
"For youngsters it's huge because Canada in a World Cup is a first for them."
— Peter Hall (@PeteHall86) March 24, 2022
Costa Rica is the toughest of the games remaining for the Canucks and there isn’t too much to separate the sides. While Canada are favourites to win, it is likely to be a low-scoring game. A repeat of their first match-up in November where the game ended with a 1-0 win for Canada looks a steady bet at +500.
If you’re looking to back a win for Canada that will take them to Qatar, we’ve boosted the odds from +140 to +180.
Check out our pre-packs as there are some great picks there. For example, a full-time Canada result and most corners for Canada is a tempting +320.
But wait…do you think Canada could go all the way in Qatar? Well, get those outright bets in nice and early for a +20000 shot. Of course, it is a long shot but with a 36-year wait in-between appearances, who knows when you might get this opportunity to bet again?