OneSoccer Hangout: CanMNT’s chances in ‘minnow’ World Cup qualifying?

With Canada’s dreams of entering “the Hex” for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying essentially dashed, its attention now turns to the underbelly of the tournament.

OneSoccer covered Canada’s chances in Concacaf qualifying during Monday’s Player and Pundit Hangout with Adam Jenkins, Kurt Larson, Oliver Platt, and Toronto Star sports writer Lara Armstrong.

Before COVID-19 postponements, John Herdman and his staff were on a crusade for FIFA rankings points in order to make it to the Hex – where a a top-three finish would see Canada earn a World Cup berth for the first time since 1986.

To watch the OneSoccer’s Player and Pundit Hangout with Laura Armstrong in full, click here.

Instead, Canada will now enter a 29-team, secondary tournament featuring Concacaf’s bottom-ranked sides. The winner of this longer and more complicated qualifying competition plays the fourth-placed side in “the Hex” for the right to advance to FIFA’s inter-confederation playoffs.

“You have to just show consistency at home, and get it right on the road,” Larson said of Canada’s chances. “That’s what I don’t think they have.”

Platt was decidedly optimistic of the longer, more complicated run, which would feature Canada facing mid-range Concacaf opponents such as Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama.

“We should raise our expectation of getting an away result at Curacao or Haiti,” Platt said.

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