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Canada National Football Team

World Cup Participation

1986, 2022



Team Information

Canada National Football Team History

Canada’s soccer team didn’t play their first international match until 1924, but Galt F.C. from Ontario won gold at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis. In their first official international on June 7, 1924, Canada fell 3-2 to Australia. Later on in that Australian tour, Canada got revenge and beat the Socceroos 4-1.

In 1927, the Canada national football team went on a tour in New Zealand and won 19 of the 22 matches they played. Also, in the early years, a rivalry with the USA developed, since they contested three matches in the span of a couple years.

Soccer in Canada took a hit as the federation withdrew from FIFA in 1928 and wouldn’t take part in FIFA World Cup qualifying until nearly 30 years later. In their 1958 World Cup Qualifying campaign, the Canada national football team defeated the USA twice, but it wasn’t enough to book a place in Sweden. Once again, the team took a hiatus because they didn’t enter the next two WCQ tournaments.

One of Their Best Periods

One of Canada’s best-ever periods was from 1981 to 1986, under coach Tony Waiters. Les Rogues fell to Brazil in the 1984 Olympics quarterfinals on penalties and won their first CONCACAF Championship in 1985. George Pakos scored crucial goals against Honduras on separate occasions to book a place in the 1986 World Cup.

At the World Cup, Canada lost all three of their games and didn’t find much success until the 21st century. Still, they were one win away from qualifying for the 1994 World Cup and held eventual Champions Brazil to a 1-1 draw in a friendly.

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A Trio of Player Awards

In 2000, Canada national football team won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with impressive wins over Mexico in the quarters and Colombia in the final. A trio of players won awards in the tournament. GK Craig Forrest won MVP, forward Carlo Corazzin earned the Golden Boot, and left-back Richard Hastings was awarded the Rookie of the Tournament award.

The following year, Canada held Brazil to a 0-0 draw in the Confederations Cup but failed to make it out of their group stage. The Canadians ended a 34-year winless streak against  the USA in 2019 at the CONCACAF Nations League, which marked a turning point for them as a National Team.

With plenty of players plying their trade in Europe, like Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Stephen Eustaquio and Steven Vitoria, Canada entered 2022 World Cup Qualifying with hope. Davies, of Bayern Munich, established himself as one of the best left backs in the world and Larin was in great goal scoring form.

2021: Jumping 30 Places in FIFA Rankings

2021 was one of the best years in Canadian soccer history as they jumped over 30 places in the FIFA rankings, ended it on top of the WCQ standings and got their first won over Mexico for over 20 years. 

In March 2022, Canada clinched their second-ever World Cup berth and finished in first place ahead of the USA and Mexico. Larin was also the top scorer in CONCACAF, qualifying with 13 goals.

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