The race to reach the World Cup finals in Qatar is heating up around the globe. Many of the European spots have already been taken, with just the playoffs yet to get underway.
Italy and Portugal are the two nations that will need to qualify through that method, and they might face each other on the playoff final. This means we will either see Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Cup or the European Champions.
Meanwhile England, France and Spain can already get their passports ready for the winter World Cup next year.
South American giants Brazil and Argentina have already secured their passage through to the finals, but in the CONCACAF region, things are beginning to get very interesting.
Canada Lead The Way In CONCACAF Qualification
We are well over halfway through qualification in the third round, and Canada are the leaders in the group standings. It has been an excellent showing by the Canadian national side, who have their most talented crop of players for generations. Canada are a point clear of the United States, and two clear of Mexico with six games left to play. Most importantly though, they are comfortably inside the top four, as they seven clear of Costa Rica.
In the very worst circumstance, it looks like Canada almost certainly going to finish in fourth, which would mean an inter-confederation playoff to reach the World Cup finals.
However, to avoid any nervy fixtures, top three remains the goal. The United States and Mexico will look to regain the advantage in the next international break in January, but Canada could wrap up their qualification in their next three games.
Pivotal Games For Canada In Next International Break
The next international break in the CONCACAF region comes in late January-early February. Canada will have huge fixtures to play during that break, as they come up against Honduras and El Salvador. However, the game that really jumps off the page is the showdown with the United States in Canada on January 30th. That fixture will go a long way in deciding the nation that is likely to top the group, while the United States could yet falter in the final international break, as they come up against Mexico away from home.
The cards are certainly all in the favour of the Canadians. If they avoid defeat against the United States at the end of January, then winnable fixtures against Panama, Jamaica and Costa Rica will stand between themselves and making national team history for Canada.
Canada’s World Cup History
The reason why it would be such an historic achievement for the Canadian national team is down to the fact that they have only previously reached the group stages of the World Cup on one previous occasion. That came in the 1986 finals in Mexico. However, it was to be a forgettable experience for followers of the national team, as they were knocked out in the group stages without winning a single game.
Furthermore, they failed to score a goal in that Group C campaign. Their best performance in the World Cup finals likely came in their opening game, as they were narrowly beaten 1-0 by France. However, defeats in their following fixtures against Hungary and the Soviet Union highlighted just how far they were off the necessary quality to compete.
But, that couldn’t be more opposite now. With players such as Cyle Larin, Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, Canada have a growing collection of young exciting players that look set to inspire the next generation of Canadian stars.
Excitement levels are already building among Canadians ahead of the World Cup next year, as they fully expect to qualify from the position, they are in. You can find what are the current Canada’s odds for qualifying in TwinSpires sportsbook: https://www.twinspires.com/sports
Meanwhile, Canada will keep that World Cup fever alive in the following years, as they prepare to host the 2026 World Cup, alongside Mexico and the United States.