Canadian men's 36_laser freckle removal hurt

Canadian men's 36-year World Cup drought should officially end this weekIt appears inevitable Canada's national men's team is going to book its spot at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November. It's just a matter of when it will happen during this week's final three-game qualifying window.

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Could come as early as Thursday with game in Costa Rica

John Molinaro · for CBC Sports(Associated Press)

The Canadian men's team is almost there. 

Barring an unprecedented collapse in qualifying, Canada's 36-year World Cup drought will end this week when coach John Herdman's side punches its ticket for this year's tournament in Qatar, Nov. 21-Dec. 18.

With three games remaining, Canada tops the table in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying with a 7-0-4 record, and enjoys an eight-point advantage over fourth-place Panama. The United States and Mexico are tied for second place, two points behind Canada. Costa Rica is fifth, trailing Panama by a single point. The top three in the eight-team group automatically qualify for Qatar. 

Canada's remaining schedule:

  • March 24: at Costa Rica, 10 p.m. ET
  • March 27: vs. Jamaica in Toronto, 4 p.m. ET
  • March 30: at Panama, 9 p.m. ET

A win against Costa Rica would clinch a World Cup berth for Canada and send it back to the tournament for the first time since 1986 in Mexico, Canada's only previous World Cup appearance. Even if Canada doesn't win in Costa Rica, it could still clinch on Thursday if other results go its way, most notably a Panama loss.

As it stands, it would be harder for the undefeated Canadians to fail to qualify, so it appears inevitable they are going to book their spot at the World Cup. It's just a matter of when it will happen during this international window. 

The historic sense of the occasion is not lost on the Canadian players.

"We're aware of how close we are. It's exciting," midfielder Jonathan Osorio said.

WATCH | Canada scores big win over U.S.:

Canada inches closer to World Cup qualification

2 months agoDuration 2:01The Canadian men’s soccer team remains at the top of the World Cup qualifying standings after beating Honduras 2-0. Even with star player Alphonso Davies sidelined, there’s hope Canada can beat the arch-rival United States on Sunday.2:01

Still, there is an overwhelming sense inside the Canadian camp that the team can't allow itself to get swept up in the excitement, or take its eye off the ball for a single second. They need to show the same singular focus in dispatching the region's top nations (including wins over higher-ranked Mexico and the U.S.) to get to this point in order to cross the finish line. 

"It's tough because there's so much you hear, so much from the outside. Even my own family members: 'Oh my God, you're almost there.' It's tough to ignore," said Osorio, who plays professionally for Toronto FC of the Major Soccer League. "But at the same time, I try to keep my feet on the ground. It still hasn't happened yet. We have to make it happen."

'We're not finished'

It's a sentiment echoed by teammate Mark-Anthony Kaye, who said the Canadian team is staying in the moment. 

"We pride ourselves on being humble," Kaye said. "At the same time, we know we've done a good job, but we haven't really done anything yet. We haven't gotten to our goal. I think the humble part is keeping us on task … It allows us to hold each other accountable because we know that there's a bigger goal at the end, and we're not there yet." 

Fellow midfielder Liam Fraser added: "It's definitely a time where people can get ahead of themselves ... The mindset here [of] players coming into camp is at the end of the day the job hasn't been completed yet, we're not finished.

"Until we cross the 't's' and dot the 'i's' everyone's mindset is we have to go into this first game, and second game and third game with the mentality we have to win."  

Canada finds itself in this advantageous position after a hugely successful January window that saw it record wins over Honduras, the U.S. and El Salvador to keep alive its unbeaten streak in the CONCACAF qualifiers. 

WATCH | Jonathan David's spectacular goal clinches win over El Salvador:

Jonathan David, Milan Borjan clinch Canada's CONCACAF win over El Salvador

2 months agoDuration 2:11In the 93rd minute, Milan Borjan made a big save at one end, and then Jonathan David stole the throw-in and scored at the other end to cinch Canada's 2-0 win over El Salvador in their FIFA World Cup CONCACAF qualifier road match.More soccer coverage


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