While all eyes were on the playing field at Tim Horton Stadium for Canada’s thrilling 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over the USA. There were a few major world news organizations represented in the press box. And the consensus was that Canada has arrived on the world soccer stage.
Writing in the New York Times, James Wagner reported, “If it wasn’t already clear which country in North and Central America and the Caribbean had the best soccer team during this World Cup qualifying cycle, Canada provided another resounding argument for its primacy on Sunday. Wagner commented on a greeting the team Canada bus received as it made its way down Melrose Avenue “welcomed by cheering fans, confetti and smoke.”
In the UK the Guardian declared, “There can no longer be a shred of doubt—Canada have come in from the cold as one of the hottest teams in international football.”
As ESPN saw it, “Canada is deservedly top of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings, and has taken eight out of a possible 12 points against the U.S. and Mexico, the presumed “giants” of CONCACAF. It can safely be said that the duopoly is now a triopoly.
The Washington Post wrote, “the United States and Canada have not enjoyed a true rivalry in men’s soccer because, while the Americans have enjoyed modest international success for decades, their northern neighbors have struggled to keep pace just in the region…On Sunday, in the chill of Hamilton, Ontario, the Canadians scored early and late to claim a 2-0 victory and hand the Americans a painful setback.
The Associated Press said, “Canada established itself as the dominant nation in soccer’s North and Central American and Caribbean region, taking a big step toward reaching the World Cup for the first time since 1986 with a 2-0 victory on Sunday over the United States.”