The Canadian men’s national soccer team is officially headed to the World Cup.
Via a 4-0 drubbing over Jamaica on Sunday afternoon, Les Rouges booked its ticket to soccer’s pinnacle event for the first time since 1986.
This year’s edition is set for Qatar in November and will feature 32 teams. Luckily, Ontario’s expanded wagering market will launch by April 4, so World Cup odds will be live in the province.
As of the publication date, 16 operators have already registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
World Cup qualifying is not yet done, so markets remain closed for the time being. But fans can keep an eye on PlayCanada for live updates for when that changes.
Canada bounces back in emphatic fashion following against Jamaica
Heading into Canada’s historic win against Jamaica on Sunday, Ontario sportsbooks Proline Plus had the pre-game odds as follows:
- Canada win (1.27 European odds, -370 American)
- Draw (4.75, +375)
- Jamaica win (9.00, +800)
Ealier in the week, the Canadian team suffered its first defeat in CONCACAF (North, Central and Caribbean region) qualifying, a 1-0 defeat against Costa Rica.
Jamaica, thus, couldn’t be taken lightly. Message received.
The Canadians took the lead early with a Cyle Larin goal in the 13th minute and never let up. Tajon Buchanan (44th), Junior Hoilett (82nd) and Adrian Mariappa (88th, own goal) also found the back of the net.
Canada toast of CONCACAF qualification group, pull together historic run
It was a good sign to see Canada – whose team record sits at 8-4-1 – bounce back following adversity.
The road to Qatar had been almost completely smooth sailing up to that point.
CONCACAF’s top three teams receive an automatic berth to the WC, so Canada’s bid has rarely been in question. The Red and White have held one of the top three spots in the zone throughout the majority of the qualifiers.
Here were some the team’s highlights in its odds-defying road to Qatar:
- Winning in Honduras for the first time since 1985
- Beating the USA in WC qualifying for the first time since 1980
- Winning in El Salvador for the first time since 1996
Team Canada’s odds in the World Cup
Regardless of who else classifies, Team Canada is expected to be enormous underdogs this winter. Besides, it’s the country’s first World Cup appearance in nearly 40 years.
In its last appearance in 1986, the country did not register a single goal or point, finishing last in its group.
Nearly four decades later, despite being the toast of the CONCACAF zone, not much more is expected. A CONCACAF team has never won the World Cup – nor have any made serious noise in a couple of decades.
The USA’s quarterfinals finish in 2002 was the most recent standout performance of the region. Host Mexico also reached the same stage in 1986.
Upcoming match odds: Canada vs. Panama
Despite the hysteria and its qualification, Canada still has one game to go. Les Rouges will face Panama (5-3-5) at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City on Wednesday.
Panama officially had its WC dreams dashed on Sunday in a 5-1 loss to the US.
So, it is a meaningless game for both squads. Nonetheless, it must be played and Canada is expected to be the favourites, despite what could be some young lineups on both sides.
Proline Plus had the odds posted Monday as follows:
- Canada win (1.87 European odds, -115 American)
- Draw (3.10, +210)
- Panama win (4.00, +300)
US, Mexico expected to qualify alongside Canada
Alongside Canada, the US and Mexico are all but certain to qualify for Qatar. The latter two are the traditional powerhouses of the region.
Meanwhile, the fourth-placed CONCACAF team, Costa Rica, could potentially squeak in as well.
That will be determined however through a play-in match against a team from the Oceania region.
The USA will clinch qualification on Wednesday as long as it doesn’t lose to Costa Rica by six goals or more.