FIFA World Cup 2022 Betting: Canada End 36 Year Absence
“We just qualified for the World Cup, this is a legit football country.”
The celebratory words of Canada’s head coach John Herdman echoed the thoughts of the nation’s soccer fans, and Les Rouges head to Qatar in December as a genuine threat.
Sure, Canada might not sit alongside favourites Brazil, France and England in the World Cup betting, but odds of +15000 see them fancied more than the likes of Cameroon, Poland and Senegal – all countries with previous World Cup pedigree.
Previous World Cup Performance
Last qualifying for the biggest soccer tournament on the planet in 1986, Alphonso Davies and his teammates will be hoping to improve on the nation’s only World Cup showing to date.
36 years ago, a team led by Tony Waiters failed to score a goal and exited at the group stage following defeats to France, Hungary and the Soviet Union.
Argentina lifted the famous Jules Rimet trophy that year with the brilliant Maradona leading his charges to the final with his infamous brace against England that included the ‘Hand of God’ followed up by another double against Belgium in the last four.
How Canada Reached Qatar
Hopes, if not expectations, were high heading into the qualifying campaign, with the general public acknowledging that this current crop of Canadian talent is arguably the best soccer side our country has produced.
Still, history was against us, and with USA, Mexico and Costa Rica to contend with, any confidence was to be managed carefully.
Consecutive 1-1 draws to kick-start qualifying was by no means a disaster, but the Toronto crowd inside the BMO Field would have been expecting three points to open their campaign against Honduras. The tie in the USA three days later was more expected, and was quickly improved on with a convincing 3-0 triumph against El Salvador.
Two more draws were to follow, 1-1 in Mexico and then a goalless stalemate in Jamaica, and although unbeaten, Canada had work to do.
The October internationals were wrapped up with a second win, this time a 4-1 win against Panama. From there, the wins just kept on coming.
Costa Rica and Mexico left Canadian territory empty handed before 2021 was out, and 2022 continued in the same emphatic fashion with three consecutive 2-0 victories over Honduras, USA and El Salvador.
These six wins on the spin left Canada needing just one win from their remaining three games to seal a first World Cup appearance in almost four decades, but were made to wait after falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica.
The wait was short-lived, with a 4-0 thumping of Jamaica just two days later confirming what had been on the cards for a while – Canada were going to Qatar!
The goals of Jonathan David and Cyle Larin were instrumental in this history defining campaign, with star man Davies and former Premier League talent Junior Hoilett providing the necessary flair for the front men to thrive.
2022 World Cup Odds
Priced at +15000, nobody is genuinely expecting Canada to travel home as world champions (can you imagine?), but there is no question that this current team can improve on the performance from 1986.
Soccer has a habit of providing memorable underdog stories, and Les Rouges will be hoping to become the latest talking point around the globe.
As recently as 2014, Costa Rica were labelled as the whipping boys of a group containing previous World Cup winners England, Uruguay and Italy. An incredible 3-1 victory over Uruguay was backed up with a memorable 1-0 defeat of Italy, before a 0-0 draw with struggling England.
A penalty shootout win over Greece in the last 16 set up a quarter-final clash with the Netherlands, with Costa Rica just five successful spot kicks away from the last four. It wasn’t to be, as stopper Tim Krul produced two fine saves, but they returned home as heroes.
North and South Korea have both upset the World Cup odds to reach the latter stages in tournaments gone by, but it was perhaps the greatest underdog story on soccer’s premier international stage came in 1998 – when a war-stricken Croatia shocked the watching world in reaching the semi-final stage.
Group stage victories over Japan and Jamaica were followed up by a 1-0 success over Romania in the round of 16.
A quarter-final exit was expected against the reigning European kings in Germany, but Croatia capitalised on their opponents being reduced to ten men in the first half and went on to record an almost unbelievable 3-0 victory against all odds.
Despite taking the lead against eventual winners France in the last four, a 2-1 defeat against Les Bleus would bring an end to the fairy-tale – but once again their squad returned home as national treasures.
Each World Cup tends to throw up once unexpected success story – who would bet against it being Canada this December?
Betting on the World Cup
As the tournament draws nearer, Bodog’s World Cup odds board will be regularly updated with props and parlays. You can always request your own bet by tweeting your very own #MakeAPlay to our @BodogCA Twitter team.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on our soccer section for more World Cup updates before the first ball is kicked.