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How Canada can qualify for the World Cup in Qatar: Scenarios explained for CanMNT in 2022

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How Canada can qualify for the World Cup in Qatar: Scenarios explained for CanMNT in 2022

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Canada have only qualified for one FIFA Men’s World Cup in the country’s history, but that could change ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Reds lead the final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers with five games to go, and there is a real possibility that Canada will qualify for their first World Cup since 1986. Still, there remains work to be done to get one of the three direct places.

There is a scenario where Canada could clinch a World Cup berth with two more wins in the final two games of the current qualifying window against the United States and El Salvador. Two more wins would move Canada to 25 points. If Panama and Costa Rica failed to cross the 15-point threshold, Canada would be mathematically clear of five other teams – 10 points ahead with only nine points available – before the final three games are over. play in March.

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The three favorites all won their respective matches on Matchday 9, with Canada still the only undefeated team remaining in the qualifying group. A few back-to-back bad results could always change the picture, but fans in Canada, USA and Mexico will relish their chances to advance at this point.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Below is the current standings for the race to qualify for the 2022 CONCACAF World Cup.

Team Please generalist O L D GF Georgia GD
1.* Canada 19 9 5 0 4 15 5 +10
2.* United States 18 9 5 1 3 13 5 +8
3.* Mexico 17 9 5 2 2 13 8 +5
4.* Panama 14 9 4 3 2 11 ten +1
5. Costa Rica 12 9 3 3 3 seven seven 0
6. Jamaica seven 9 1 4 4 seven 12 -5
7. El Salvador 6 9 1 5 3 4 11 -seven
8.Honduras 3 9 0 6 3 5 17 -12

* The top three teams earn direct berths for Qatar 2022, while fourth place will head to an intercontinental qualifier against a nation in Oceania.

Canada’s World Cup qualifying schedule and results

Below is the full list of Canada’s past results and fixtures in their quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Dated Match Time (ET) TV / Stream
September 2, 2021 Canada 1Honduras 1 Strong points
September 5, 2021 United States 1, Canada 1 Strong points
September 8, 2021 Canada 3El Salvador 0 Strong points
October 7, 2021 Mexico 1Canada 1 Strong points
October 10, 2021 Jamaica 0Canada 0 Strong points
October 13, 2021 Canada 4Panama 1 Strong points
November 12, 2021 Canada 1Costa Rica 0 Strong points
November 16, 2021 Canada 2Mexico 1 Strong points
January 27, 2022 Honduras 0Canada 2 Strong points
January 30, 2022 Canada vs United States 3:05 p.m.
February 2, 2022 El Salvador v Canada 9 p.m.
March 24, 2022 Costa Rica vs. Canada To be determined
March 27, 2022 Canada vs Jamaica To be determined
March 30, 2022 Panama vs. Canada To be determined

How many points to qualify for the World Cup?

If we are using past regional World Cup qualifying cycles for historical comparisons, we must use the points per game (PPG) measure, as there have only been 10 games played in the CONCACAF final round in previous cycles (compared to 14 on the calendar for Qatar 2022).

While the number of matches was different, the top three places always qualified directly for each World Cup tournament listed below (points per match of each qualified team shown in bold). And since the 2006 World Cup, the fourth-place team has qualified for a playoff game against a nation from another region.

Qualification 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
1998 1.8 1.7 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.6
2002 2.3 1.7 1.7 1.4 0.8 0.5
2006 2.2 2.2 1.6 1.3 1.1 0.2
2010 2.0 1.9 1.6 1.6 0.8 0.6
2014 2.2 1.8 1.5 1.1 0.8 0.5
2018 2.1 1.6 1.3 1.3 1.2 0.6
2022* 2.1 2.0 1.9 1.8 1.1 0.8 0.7 0.3

Projection of Canadian qualifying results

So what realistically needs to happen for Canada to be comfortably in that 1.8-1.9 ppg (25-27 ppg) range they need to qualify without breaking a sweat? Or, if fans want to think big, how can they push towards the 2.0 PPG barrier to claim the top spot?

MORE: Which teams have qualified for the 2022 World Cup?

We have attempted to project the results of the last five games, taking a less favorable set of results to find the minimum required to comfortably qualify. Canada are currently unbeaten in first place, but have just two home games left in their last five (against the United States and Jamaica) with three trips to Central America to come.

The aggregate of worst results includes one loss and two draws in their last five games. Considering a possible home loss to the United States, as well as draws on the road in Panama and Costa Rica, the total of 27 points (and a mark of around 1.9 points per game) should be enough to qualify.

Thanks to the victory in Honduras, Canada now has a little more room for error. For example, a draw instead of a win against Jamaica or El Salvador would still leave Canada in a strong position (25 points, 1.8 PPG), especially if the other teams around them (USA and Mexico) continued to rack up wins. Obviously, a result (maybe a win?) against USA at home would go a long way to avoiding a tough end to the game and securing a place long before the final game in Panama.

Match Dated Opponent / Result GPP
ten Sunday, January 30, 2022 Canada 0, United States 1 (Loss) 1.9
11 Wednesday, February 2, 2022 El Salvador 0, Canada 2 (To earn) 2.0
12 Thursday, March 24, 2022 Costa Rica 1, Canada 1 (To design) 1.9
13 Sunday, March 27, 2022 Canada 1, Jamaica 0 (To earn) 2.0
14 Wednesday, March 30, 2022 Panama 2, Canada 2 (To design) 1.9

When could Canada qualify for the World Cup?

With five matches remaining in the qualifying cycle (15 points available) and the top four teams just five points away, qualification is likely to come down to the March match window.

To clinch before March, Canada will need to win its next two games and hope Costa Rica and Panama don’t go above 15 points in their next two games. This series of results would guarantee that Canada finishes in one of the top three places.

Every time Canada clinches, the schedule is set for this March 27 home game against Jamaica to be a true celebration like Canada hasn’t seen in generations.

Canada is undefeated in nine games, with five wins and four draws on behalf of the Maple Leafs, and the ability to get results on the road has been key. They picked up a victory in Honduras and drew on the road against the United States, Mexico and Jamaica. Add them to a 4W-0L-1D home record, including a famous 2-1 home win over Mexico, and the points came in bunches.

MORE: How the Intercontinental World Cup qualifiers work

The schedule calls for three of its final five games on the road, so Canada will need the road warrior mentality to move forward. His last two home games against the United States and Jamaica will be decisive.

Canadian fans will be hoping the results of their last two games in this window – including this home game against the United States – will allow them to control their own destiny ahead of the final round of qualifying.

CONCACAF standings tiebreakers

There is always a possibility that the CONCACAF standings will be very tight and that Canada will be level on points with one or more of the other nations in the qualifying standings. Tiebreakers would come into play.

Here are the standings tiebreakers for teams even on points:

  1. Goal difference in all group matches
  2. Most goals scored in all group matches
  3. Most points obtained in group matches between the teams concerned
  4. Goal difference in group matches between the teams concerned
  5. Greater number of goals scored in group matches between the teams concerned
  6. Away goals (if two teams are tied)
  7. Discipline points (based on yellow/red cards)
  8. Draw by FIFA

The Qatar World Cup will be played from November 21 to December 18, 2022.


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