Canadian footballers missed their first chance to get a World Cup ticket. National coach John Herdman’s side lost 1-0 to Costa Rica in San Jose, Canada’s first defeat in this playoff. The North American country has two more chances to qualify for the second time to the World Finals, after making its World Cup debut in 1986.
Canada had to carry on with ten men half an hour later, after Marc Anthony Kay was sent off with his second yellow card. Celso Borges scored in first-half stoppage time, giving Costa Rica 19 points a chance to qualify directly for the World Cup.
“This is football, too,” Herdmann said. “We haven’t lost in 17 games, but the football gods were not with us today. We are not looking back, we have our destiny in our hands. We are going to Qatar.”
Canada still leads the table with 25 points from 12 matches. Followed by the United States and Mexico with 22 points. The mutual confrontation in Mexico City ended in a 0-0 draw.
Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez played the entire match for Mexico, and PSV player Eric Gutierrez joined the squad ten minutes before the end. Luca de la Torre of Heracles Almelo remained on the bench with the Americans.
Numbers one to three from CONCACAF, a union of countries from North and Central America and the Caribbean, are directly eligible for the World Cup.
The number four gets a second chance in the Intercontinental Playoff. Canada can still qualify against Jamaica on Sunday in Toronto, or else another chance against Panama will follow three days later.
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