Does Canada Have Any Chance To Make It To The Round Of 16?

The Round Of 16

Canada is back in the World Cup after a lengthy, near 4 decade hiatus, looking to make right on their last World Cup performances. While Canada may not be known for their football, or soccer as they call it, their performances in the qualifiers have been exceptionally impressive, and their list of stars is growing steadily. Many Canadians and general, unbiased soccer fans, are wondering whether the Canadians will make past the group stage in the World Cup. 

36 years since Canada’s last World Cup appearance 

While Canada will be looking forward to continuing their solid run of form that got them qualified for the World Cup, some onlookers may wonder if this competition is Canada’s to do well in. The last time Canadians were at the World Cup, Mad Cow disease was spreading through the UK, The Oprah Winfrey Show aired for the first time, and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was hot news. 1986 was certainly a big year for the world. 

It was not, however, a big year for Canadian soccer, because while the men in red made it to the World Cup, they went on to do pretty poorly, as they didn’t manage to win any games. What was worse was that they never looked challenging any of the competitors they came up against. 

Whether you ask a Canadian soccer fan, or a British football pundit, many can agree that the Canada that we see in 2022 is far different from the Canada the world saw at the World Cup in 1986. 

Who is Canada in the group with?

Whether Canada will be able to pass through the group stage is largely based on which teams they will be facing in this part of the competition. Canada have been placed in Group F with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco, meaning that the men in red have an exceptionally tall order ahead of them if they want to make it through to the round of 16. 

With Belgium being strong favourites to win the group, and Croatia there to push them all the way, it’s looking likely that the Canadians may see a repeat of the same fate they saw in 1986. All hope, however, is not lost. Belgium tends to struggle at international competitions, and as heavy underdogs, a motivated Canada could go ahead and claim the scalp of a giant in their opening game. If they were to do so, Group F would be blown right open, giving the Canadians a strong chance of making it.

While that’s a nice thought in theory, nobody in the football world is expecting them to do that. They also face tough fixtures against Croatia and Morocco, so the odds are heavily stacked against them. 

What do the bookmakers think?

Usually, a good way to get a read on probabilities is by checking the odds that are available for the outcomes of World Cup games on sports betting sites. As far as it stands, the bookmakers do not see Canada getting too far in the competition. Quite the opposite, actually. 

Sports betting sites listed on a bookmaker review website in Canada have all provided odds that indicate that the probability of Canada winning their opening game against Belgium, and making it the round of 16 is extremely low. 

With all that said, the bookmakers have been wrong before, and if Canada is able to play with the same intensity that they played with in the CONCACAF qualifiers, we could see the men in red could go further than many are expecting.

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