When Canada brushed past Jamaica in a crucial qualifying match, it cemented its place at the FIFA World Cup 2022, sparking joy across the country. It's fair to say Canadian sports fans don't share the same widespread passion for soccer as countries like Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Spain, but fans were happy to see the boys back on the big stage.
Some even fancied Canada making history by winning the World Cup, and why not. As the old saying goes, you've got to be in it to win it, and Canada was back in it.
The attraction of big odds on an upset win appealed to wagerers in Canada and the US. However, the mess in Florida and uncertainty surrounding gambling in the US meant betting on the World Cup in Canada was easier.
Canada hadn't qualified for a World Cup since 1986, meaning inclusion in this winter's games was something new for millions of followers.
Due to the competition’s timing, only a few Canadians could make the trip to Qatar. Being so close to the holidays and the expense of getting there certainly didn't help, either. However, the team packed their bags to return home after only three games, finishing at the bottom of Group F.
Morocco won the pool thanks to seven points collected from a possible nine. Croatia was second, with Belgium heading out in third.
Canada vs. Belgium: 0-1
A losing start for Canada but a narrow defeat against one of the early favourites to win the trophy. Qatar was the final chance for Belgium's "Golden Generation" to finally live up to the hype and deliver success. They had come close in the past and were anticipated to defeat Canada, dishing out a harsh punishment.
However, after two games, it appeared Belgium wasn't the team it was thought to be, and they also left Qatar following the groups.
A 1-0 scoreline is rarely enough to win a soccer match at the top level, but it was on this occasion that Canada failed to find the net and score a goal to end in a draw.
Canada vs. Croatia - 1-4
The team showed enough character and vigour at the start of this match to convince fans to be hopeful. However, unfortunately, this hope wouldn’t last long against the 2018 World Cup runners-up.
They paid a hefty price as Croatia ran riot on matchday two. Goals from Livaja, Majer, and a Kramaric double ensured a comfortable outing. The three points won by Croatia that day helped them secure their passage to the Round of 16, and they are still going strong.
Canada had little to show for their efforts other than a goal scored by Davies inside the opening two minutes of play. It was a shock lead, but it gave their opponents time to recover.
Canada vs. Morocco: 1-2
The damage was already done when Morocco beat Canada 2-1 on matchday three to top the group. Besides an own goal scored by Aguerd with Canada 2-0 down, it was another match to forget.
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