Canada lost 3-2 to Jamaica in their Concacaf Nations League second leg quarter final match at BMO Field in Toronto Tuesday.
The result left the two teams tied 4-4 on aggregate, but Jamaica advanced to the semifinals on the away goals rule. And the loss leaves Canada’s qualification for next year’s Copa America in peril.
Canada led the game 1-0, and the tie 3-1, at half time, thanks to a first half Alphonso Davies goal.
But Jamaica fought back to secure advancement thanks to two goals by Shamar Nicholson and a winning penalty from Bobby De Cordova-Reid. Ismaël Koné scored Canada’s second goal.
“Massive disappointment, for sure,” said Mauro Biello, Canada’s interim coach. “For us, there’s no excuse for some of the performances in the second half. We shot ourselves in the foot.”
Copa America qualification uncertain
The loss also means Canada will need to contest a single playoff match against Trinidad and Tobago in March to try and qualify for the 2024 Conmebol Copa America.
South America’s continental competition is held in the United States with six teams from Concacaf next summer. The Copa America will be key to Canada’s preparations for co-hosting World Cup 2026, with the opportunity to face nations like Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. And not qualifying would be seen as a major failure.
“We’ve got to sit down all together, look each other in the eyes and see what went wrong. Because this is unacceptable,” said Canada goalkeeper and captain Milan Borjan. “This team, to have players like that, to do something like this it’s not acceptable.
“I’m very very angry. As a captain, I’m sorry to the nation that we didn’t go to the (Nations League) semis but we have another chance in March for the Copa America and we’ll try to do everything to bounce back and try to make our nation happy.”