Canada will have to wait a little longer to qualify for World Cup Qatar 2022 after losing to Costa Rica 1-0 in San Jose Thursday.
A Canadian win or draw in Central America would have been enough to book a ticket to Qatar. But Canada , who were reduced to 10 men in the first half, were unable to find earn the required result despite a brave effort Thrusday.
And John Herdman’s squad will now wait until Sunday’s match against Jamaica for another chance to earn its first World Cup berth since 1986.
“It was a tough night,” admitted Canada coach John Herdman after the game. “But there’s a lot of pride. I thought we controlled the game with 10 men. But we just couldn’t get it in the back of the net. Now we get the chance to come home and qualify at home.”
Kaye red card handicaps Canada early
Driven on by a capacity National Stadium crowd, and needing a win to keep a realistic chance of qualifying for Qatar 2022 directly, Costa Rica pushed forward in the opening exchanges. But the Canadian defence held firm and didn’t concede any clear cut opportunities.
Mark-Anthony Kaye was fortunate not to be sent off in the 16th minute for a studs up challenge. The referee gave the original foul, yellow carding the Canadian midfielder, but was called over to view the incident by VAR. However, the official upheld his initial decision.
Canada grew into the game after that close call, enjoying more possession and pressuring the home defence.
But Canada were reduced to 10 men in the 34th minute when Kaye received a second yellow card for putting his shoulder into an opponent off the ball. Contact was minimal, but ultimately it was lack of discipline from Kaye and he’ll regret having given the referee the opportunity to show a second yellow.
And Costa Rica capitalized on their man advantage in first half stoppage time when Costa Rican midfielder Celso Borges rose to head past Canadian keeper Milan Borjan.
Canada dominates second half
Despite being undermanned, Canada came out the stronger of the two sides in the second half.
Tajon Buchanan had a half chance in the 48th minute. The Club Brugge winger showed an excellent touch, bringing a long ball under control before seeing his effort saved by charging keeper Keylor Navas.
Joel Campbell had an opportunity to double the lead for the home side in the 51st minute, but Canadian keeper Borjan stood his ground and saved the resulting tame effort to keep the Canadians within one.
Canadian midfielder Stephen Eustáquio came close in the 64th minute shooting wide past Navas’ goal.
Canada continued to look dangerous. Again Tajon Buchanan came close in 72nd minute. This time the 23-year-old headed against cross bar before lifting the rebound over from seven yards. And Canadian striker Jonathan David deflected a cross onto the post in the 87th minute.
But in the end, Canada wasn’t able to find the equalizer that would have clinched their place in Qatar.
And Herdman and Co. will look to secure qualification against Jamaica in Toronto Sunday.
“We got through the toughest part, and then the card came,” said Canada coach John Herdman after the game. “But after that the response was amazing. I thought these players did their country proud tonight. All that we missed was that final effort, that goal.”
CONCACAF World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying final round
P=progressed to inter-continental playoff
Updated March 30 2022