The 2022 World Cup will be the second appearance in the tournament for the Canadian National Team. It has been 36 years since they qualified for the first and only time in the 1986 World Cup hosted by Mexico.
However, this will be the first in two consecutive appearances for the Maple Leafs, who will be part of the three North American countries co-hosting in 2026. Qualifying for 2022 is the perfect preparation for 2026, as well as a sudden increase in excitement around the international team that could make this World Cup special.
Opportunity in 1986
In 1986, the qualifying tournament fell right for Canada to make it to the World Cup. Mexico, who had been the regular representative for the CONCACAF’s only spot in the World Cup, was the host nation, meaning they did not have to play in qualifications.
It would also be the last tournament before the United States qualified for the next seven straight, beginning to share dominance over the region with Mexico. Canada was able to capitalize on these circumstances.
The United States did not make it out of the first round of the group play, while the Maple Leafs topped theirs. They faced Honduras and Costa Rica in the final group stage of qualification, not losing a single match and allowing just two goals, with a record of 2-2-0.
After an impressive run to participate in the World Cup odds, it would be a different story when the tournament started. Canada did not earn a single point or score a goal, losing all three games by a score line of 2-0. The silver lining would be that they held their own against an excellent French team, who ended up coming in third.
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Qualifying for 2022
There has officially been a massive movement in Canada as the national team suddenly became a rising star within international play. In 2021 they reached their highest FIFA ranking by coming in at 40, now sitting at 41.
In the last two major CONCACAF tournaments, the Maple Leafs have looked outstanding. They made it to the semi-finals in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, losing to Mexico 2-1 and putting up a fight. Their only other loss in that tournament was against the United States in the group stages.
While qualifying for the World cup soccer 2022, Canada dominated, finishing top of the table in the CONCACAF tournament, earning the first spot to Qatar. They tied with Mexico for the most points with 28, with a record of 8-4-2, finishing with a goal difference of 16. The Canadian players also dominated the tournament, with four players in the top five goal scorers. Cyle Larin led the way with 13, and Jonathan David followed with nine.
Make a Moment Canada
The Canadian national team has never won a World Cup odds game, let alone scored a goal. Their pursuit for that first win wasn’t made easy by being placed in one of the more challenging groups. They are with 2018’s runner-up Croatia, one of the best European teams in Belgium, and an underrated Morocco side.
However, this is the Maple Leafs’ chance to make a legit World Cup best moment. They are in the tournament with a talented young roster highlighted by Bayern Munich star, Alphonso Davies. This is the perfect time to be competitive and head into 2026, as a co-host, with some experience and confidence.