Friday Jun 14, 2024
Friday Jun 14, 2024

Canada must wait for World Cup spot

2022 Mar 25, 10:27, Canada
Canada's goalkeeper Milan Borjan, center, eyes the ball as Costa Rica's Celso Borges scores a goal during a World Cup qualifying soccer match in San Jose, Costa Rica

Celso Borges scored in first-half stoppage time and Costa Rica kept Canada from wrapping up its first World Cup berth in 36 years Thursday night with a 1-0 victory in CONCACAF qualifying.

Canada needs a win or a draw Sunday when it hosts Jamaica to book a spot in Qatar, while Costa Rica moved into fourth place in the CONCACAF standings with two matches remaining.

Canada played with 10 men after Mark-Anthony Kaye was sent off with a red card in the 34th minute.

With Panama’s 1-1 draw with last-place Honduras earlier Thursday, Canada needed a win or a draw at Costa Rica’s National Stadium in San Jose to secure a berth. Canada also could have clinched with a Mexico win over the United States, but that game ended in a scoreless draw on Thursday night.

Canada sits atop the North and Central America and the Caribbean qualifying standings with 25 points, ahead of the United States and Mexico with 22 points apiece. The US has the edge on goal difference. Costa Rica has 19 points.

The top three CONCACAF finishers secure World Cup berths. The fourth-place team will face a team from Oceania in an intercontinental playoff.

Borges scored on a header in the box two minutes into first-half stoppage time to give Costa Rica the lead. Despite dominating possession, Canada could not breakthrough in the second half.

Los Ticos were undefeated in four straight qualifying matches and have not conceded a goal.

Canada has been playing without Alphonso Davies, who missed the previous three qualifying matches because myocarditis was discovered after he caught COVID-19 in January.

In the other CONCACAF qualifying matches on Thursday, Andre Gray scored in the 72nd minute and Jamaica eliminated El Salvador from World Cup contention with a 1-1 draw at Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston.

Eriq Zavaleta, who plays for the LA Galaxy, scored in the 21st for EL Salvador. The Reggae Boyz were already eliminated from a spot in Qatar.

Kevin Lopez’s goal in the 65th minute pulled Honduras into a 1-1 draw with Panama. Rolando Blackburn scored in the 23rd for Panama, which dropped out of fourth place in the standings.


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