After dispatching No. 168 Bermuda 5-1 and the 194th-ranked Cayman Islands 11-0 in late March, Canada (2-0-0) leads No. 136 Suriname (2-0-0) on purpose distinction in Group B within the first spherical of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Canada takes on No. 205 Aruba (0-2-0) on Saturday on the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., earlier than finishing first-round play in opposition to Suriname on June 8 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Unwell.
Each video games have been shifted to the U.S. because of pandemic-related journey restrictions. The Suriname match is formally a Canadian house recreation.
Canada has not certified for the ultimate qualifying spherical since 1996-97 forward of the 1998 World Cup in France. The Canadians completed sixth and final in that remaining spherical with a 1-6-3 file.
In October 2012, Canada had an opportunity to advance to the ultimate spherical with a win or attract Honduras. However the Canadians exited after a humbling 8-1 loss in San Pedro Sula — Canada’s worst defeat since an 8-0 drubbing in Mexico in 1993.
The Canadian males have solely certified for the World Cup as soon as, in 1986 in Mexico the place they failed to attain a purpose or safe a degree in losses to France, Hungary and the Soviet Union.
The Suriname recreation will doubtless determine the Group B winner — the one crew within the group that may transfer onto the second spherical of qualifying.
Canada at the moment has a plus-six edge in purpose distinction over Suriname. Except that hole modifications radically within the subsequent spherical of matches — Suriname hosts Bermuda on Friday — the Canadian males may advance with a draw or win in opposition to Suriname.
The Suriname crew has improved immensely with the appearance of so-called sports activities passports, that permit gamers with Suriname roots to signify the nation with out giving up their present citizenship, often Dutch.
Canada has by no means performed Aruba earlier than at this stage. The Canadian males beat Suriname 2-1 of their solely earlier worldwide “A” stage assembly, a 1977 World Cup qualifier.
“Clearly now we have that second spherical in thoughts however we’re simply targeted on the primary two video games,” Piette informed a digital information convention from the Canadian crew coaching camp in Orlando.
With 51 caps, the CF Montreal midfielder is the veteran of the group, together with Purple Star Belgrade goalkeeper Milan Borjan (50 caps). However the Canadian roster is crammed with younger expertise that has expertise on the highest membership stage with the likes of Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich, Germany), Jonathan David (Lille, France) and Cyle Larin (Besiktas, Turkey).
The Group B winner strikes on to face the highest crew in Group E — doubtless No. 83 Haiti, No. 147 Nicaragua or No. 170 Belize in a home-and-away playoff June 12 and 15 to find out who advances to the eight-team remaining qualifying spherical.
The winners of the three second-round playoffs be part of 5 different higher-ranked groups within the remaining spherical, which can see the groups play every house and on the street. Mexico (No. 11), the U.S. (No. 20), Jamaica (No. 45), Costa Rica (No. 50) and Honduras (No. 67) acquired byes on to the so-called Octagonal.
The highest three groups will qualify for Qatar 2022. The fourth-place finisher will participate in an intercontinental home-and-away playoff to see who joins them.
“I believe we’re simply getting began,” mentioned Piette. “Issues are thrilling for the long run.”
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This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Could 31, 2021
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press