Concacaf WCQ Rewind: Canada clinches World Cup berth, Costa Rica stays alive, and more

Canada’s 26-year wait for a return to the World Cup came to an end on Sunday with John Herdman’s side clinching its place in Qatar with a resounding win at home in Toronto.

The Canadians rolled past already-eliminated Jamaica, 4-0, at BMO Field on Sunday afternoon, solidifying the second trip the World Cup in the nation’s history. Cyle Larin and Tajon Buchanan scored first-half goals before Junior Hoilett and an own-goal from Adrian Mariappa padded the final score.

Larin needed just 13 minutes to break the deadlock in Toronto after the veteran forward slotted home a through ball assist from Stephen Eustaquio. It was Larin’s 13th goal in Canada’s qualifying cycle, which is more than El Salvador, Jamaica, and Honduras all have had individually as a team so far in the octagonal round.

Buchanan doubled Canada’s lead before halftime, finishing from close range off of a set piece situation for the hosts. It was the Club Brugge forward’s third goal of the octagonal round and his first since October 2021.

Canada continued to pile on the pressure in the latter stages of the match as Junior Hoilett extending the hosts’ lead to 3-0. Buchanan connected with Hoilett in the 82nd minute before watching as the Reading midfielder beat Andre Blake to the bottom-right corner.

An Adrian Mariappa own goal truly sunk Jamaica’s spirits on the afternoon and gave the home Canada fans more to cheer about. Jamaica only mustered up one shot on goal in the defeat, which is its seventh through 13 matches in the octagonal round.

Canada finishes its schedule on Wednesday at Panama, knowing a victory could push them over the 30-point mark in the octagonal.

Here is a closer look at all of Sunday’s Concacaf World Cup Qualifying results:

El Salvador 1, Costa Rica 2

(Cristian Gil 31′) – (Anthony Contreas 30′, Joel Campbell 45+1′)

Costa Rica’s slim automatic qualification hopes remained alive on Sunday after earning a 2-1 road win over already-eliminated El Salvador away from home.

Joel Campbell’s first-half finish propelled the Ticos back in front for good after a thrilling opening 45 minutes from San Salvador. Anthony Contreas opened the scoring for Costa Rica, sending a right-footed shot into the high center of the goal off of a set piece situation.

El Salvador answered quickly though, as Cristian Gil equalized off of the ensuing kickoff. Kevin Reyes’ through ball pass was received Gil before the 25-year-old roofed a shot on Keylor Navas to make it 1-1.

Joel Campbell sprung Costa Rica back in front before halftime, getting on the end of Keysher Fuller’s cross and tapping home his second goal of 2022 for the Ticos.

Kendall Waston struck the cross bar in the dying moments of the match, which could’ve iced the final score at 3-1. However, El Salvador came close to equalizing in stoppage time as Brayan Landaverde’s header missed just wide of Navas’ goal.

Costa Rica is guaranteed at least a fourth-place finish, but could sneak into the top-three if it defeats the USMNT by six goals or more on Wednesday in San Jose.

Honduras 0, Mexico 1

(Edson Alvarez 70′)

Mexico used a second-half winning goal from midfielder Edson Alvarez to defeat already-eliminated Honduras, 1-0, in San Pedro Sula on Sunday night.

After a scoreless first half, El Tri picked up the pressure in the second half and eventually broke through Honduras’ stubborn backline. Hector Herrera’s corner kick in the 70th minute was headed in by Alvarez at the near post, giving Tata Martino’s side a deserved lead on the road.

Guillermo Ochoa needed to only make one save for Mexico to preserve the clean sheet.

Mexico sits in third place and would need to avoid a lopsided Matchday 14 loss to El Salvador to miss out on automatic qualification.