Resurgent Canada reignites rivalry with USA

John Herdman and Canada are back among the big boys
John Herdman and Canada are back among the big boys
Emmanuel Ayamga

“Canada! Top of the table. Undefeated” was Alphonso Davies’ wild reaction following Canada’s impressive victory against the USA on Sunday.

Right before their teeming home fans, the Canucks took a giant step towards qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after recording a 2-0 win against their neighbours.

That Canada have not qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 36 years made the victory all the more special. John Herdman is privileged to be managing a golden generation of Canadian players.

Such is the talent in the team that they were able to beat the USA without star man Davies. The Bayern Munich left-back is currently indisposed after being diagnosed with mild myocarditis, otherwise known as inflammation of the heart.

However, his absence was not felt, as goals from Cyle Larin and Sam Adekugbe saw Canada open up a four-point gap at the top of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table.

Canada reignites rivalry with USA

The three points may have been the most important thing at stake, but the game was worth much more. It marked the rebirth of a rivalry that has gone cold in recent years.

There was a time when Canada used to rival the USA, with both countries serving the world some tasty games. Between the 1980s and 1990s, Canadian football was at its zenith

The Canucks reached the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup three times consecutively in that period. They finished fourth twice, and won the tournament in 1985. A year later, they played at the FIFA World Cup.


After a decade of slump, Canada begun the millennium in impressive form, winning the Gold Cup in 2000 and finishing third in 2002. Since then, they have flattered to deceive until last year when they reached another semi-final.

However, the Canucks are back to their best. Not only have they reignited their rivalry with the USA, but they are also on course to dethrone the Yanks as the kings of the CONCACAF region.

Canada are unbeaten in their last two games against the USA, drawing 1-1 in September before recording a 2-0 win over their neighbours on Sunday. The anticipation of Sunday’s game was at an all-time high. Members of Parliament and other politicians also got involved in the banter before kick-off.

That is what this fixture means, and this reignited rivalry could continue for a very long time. That’s because both Canada and the USA now boast some impressive young talents across Europe.

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Edited by Bhargav


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