Canada booked their place at the Qatar World Cup while the USA celebrated their qualification early as they unfurled a ‘Qualified’ banner in front of their supporters. Christian Pulisic scored a hattrick to help them to a 5-1 win over Panama while Mexico needed a goal from Edson Alvarez to avoid dropping points against Honduras. The USA is one game away from qualification and they will take on Costa Rica this week. It was also the first time in 36 years that Canada have qualified for the World Cup.
“The guys didn’t know at all what it said. It was just handed to them,” Christian Pulisic said. “Once we realized – there’s no need to show that off because we still have a job to do. We honestly approach it like any other game. We’re going to prepare exactly the same as we would if we needed a win.”
“I’m just so pleased we didn’t win in Costa Rica,” Canada head coach John Hardman said after they qualified for the World Cup. “This is how it was meant to be, I know why the football gods wouldn’t let us score, it was for tonight. We just qualified for the World Cup, this is a legit football country. I think this country never believed in us because we’ve given them nothing to believe in. They believe now. This is the time for everyone to get behind football and unite because we can be a powerhouse.”