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Canada wins 1-0 over Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying match at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium – Globalnews.ca

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A second-half goal from Jonathan David has put Canada one step closer to the World Cup.

David’s 57th-minute goal was all Canada needed to beat Costa Rica 1-0 on Friday in a World Cup qualifier in front of 48,806 fans at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

READ MORE: Edmonton Transit, Commonwealth Stadium prepare for big soccer crowd


Fans, cheers for Team Canada as they take on Costa Rica during World Cup qualifier soccer action in Edmonton on Friday, November 12, 2021.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The goal came after Costa Rican goalkeeper Leonel Moreira fumbled a cross into the penalty area, leaving David to slot the ball home.


Team Canada celebrates a goal against Costa Rica during second half World Cup qualifier soccer action in Edmonton on Friday, November 12, 2021.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

With the win, Canada remains in third place in CONCACAF’s Octagon. Canada has 13 points from seven matches (3-0-4) while Costa Rica fell to 1-3-3.

The top three teams in the standings will earn berths for next year’s World Cup in Qatar. The fourth-place team gets a last-chance playoff with another wild-card team from another region.

Moreira started for Costa Rica because of an injury to the national team’s regular starting keeper, Keylor Navas of Paris St-Germain.

The goal came minutes after a leaping bicycle kick by Canadian winger Tajon Buchanan froze Moreira in his tracks, but the ball hit the bar – the second time the Canadians found the woodwork in the game.

The first close call came in the 15th minute. A corner kick from hometown hero Alphonso Davies went into a scrum of Costa Rican defenders and ricocheted off the crossbar.

READ MORE: Alphonso Davies’ return to Edmonton for World Cup qualifiers ‘makes people believe’

The game marked the first time Davies played a competitive game in Edmonton since his early teens. But throughout the first half, the Bayern Munich star was regularly crowded out by two or three defenders each time he got close to the ball.

He did get a look at goal in the 15th minute, but his shot was blocked thanks to a sliding effort from defender Oscar Duarte.


Team Canada’s Alphonso Davies (19) makes a move on Costa Rica’s Joel Nathaniel Campbell Samuels (12) during first half World Cup qualifier soccer action in Edmonton on Friday, November 12, 2021.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Davies had another chance in the 66th minute, but he blasted his shot over the bar.

READ MORE: Canada aims to score first but also not worried about getting behind early in World Cup qualifiers

Costa Rica’s best chance of the game came in the 34th minute. Youstin Salas’s volley forced Canadian keeper Milan Borjan into a diving stop.

Seconds later, Salas was in the mix again. The majority of fans in attendance bayed for American referee Ismail Elfath to award a penalty after Salas brought down David in the Costa Rican box, but Elfath waved off the appeals.


Team Canada and Costa Rica players vie for the ball on a corner kick during first half World Cup qualifier soccer action in Edmonton on Friday, November 12, 2021.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Twice in the first half, the teams came together in scrums after fouls, adding a bit of heat to the encounter in the chilly 1 C weather.

READ MORE: Canadian men’s soccer team has become a winning band of brothers under John Herdman

The first came after Canadian defender Richie Laryea earned a yellow card for kicking out at Costa Rican attacker Jewison Bennette. Then in the 23rd, Bennette returned the favour, getting a yellow after another altercation with Laryea.

Canadian defender Steven Vitoria also saw yellow in the first half. Ricardo Blanco got a yellow in the 70th minute for a foul on Buchanan.

Ike Ugbo made his debut in a Canada jersey, coming in as an 82nd-minute substitute. Ugbo, a former England youth international, declared his intent to play for Canada last week.


Team Canada’s fans cheer as they take on Costa Rica during first half World Cup qualifier soccer action in Edmonton on Friday, November 12, 2021.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Italy, Portugal drawn in same bracket for World Cup qualifying playoffs – CBC.ca

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The World Cup in Qatar is sure to be without either Italy or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Italy and Portugal, the current and previous European champions, were drawn into the same qualifying playoff bracket Friday, meaning at least one will fail to qualify for next year’s tournament.

Italy will first face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semifinal next March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot at the World Cup.

Four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, missing the tournament for the first time since 1958 after losing in the playoffs to Sweden. Now, after winning Euro 2020 in July, it may have to beat Euro 2016 champion Portugal to avoid a second straight failure.

“It’s not a great draw and it could have gone better,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini acknowledged. “Just like we wanted to avoid Portugal, they would have wanted to avoid Italy.”

Ronaldo has led Portugal to every World Cup since 2006 and this could be his last attempt at winning international soccer’s biggest trophy. He will turn 37 before next year’s tournament starts.

Ronaldo helped Portugal get through the playoffs for the 2014 World Cup, scoring a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Sweden that featured an epic duel between superstars, with Zlatan Ibrahimović netting twice for the Swedes.

“It’s not worth thinking about (Italy),” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. “It’s important that we concentrate on beating Turkey.”

Italy’s forward Federico Chiesa (L) challenges Switzerland’s defender Ricardo Rodriguez during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group C football match between Italy and Switzerland on November 12, 2021 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Akberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

Other matchups

Also in the 12-team draw, Scotland will face Ukraine at home, and the winner will play at Wales or Austria in the final of their bracket.

Russia will host Poland for the right to face Sweden or the Czech Republic in their bracket final. Russia or Poland will host the final.

Scotland looks to end a 24-year wait to play at the World Cup while Wales’ only appearance was in 1958.

“At the moment, the way the team is playing, the confidence the boys have got, we would be happy to play anyone, anywhere,” said Scotland coach Steve Clarke, whose team has won six straight since September.

However, Ukraine won at Hampden Park in June, in the Euro 2020 round of 16 against Sweden, and went unbeaten through a World Cup qualifying group won by France.

Scotland players celebrate as they leave the pitch after the FIFA World Cup 2022 Group F qualification football match between Scotland and Denmark at Hampden Park in Glasgow on November 15, 2021. (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

Sweden will not have Ibrahimović for its semifinal against the Czechs. The 40-year-old forward has a one-game ban for getting yellow cards in the qualifying group.

“We already did it last time (in 2018) and we of course (know) that we can do it again,” said Sweden coach Janne Andersson.

The six playoff semifinals will be played as single-leg games March 24. The three finals are played five days later.

The three winners will complete Europe’s entry of 13 nations in the 32-team lineup in Qatar.

FIFA will make the tournament draw on April 1 in Doha.

The European playoffs feature the 10 teams who finished second in their qualifying groups along with two teams — Austria and the Czechs — who won Nations League groups last year.

Also, FIFA said Qatar will host the intercontinental playoff in June that will decide the last two qualifiers for the tournament.

Intercontinental draw

The intercontinental draw paired the team from Asia against the team from South America, and a team from North American region CONCACAF against Oceania’s representative.

Those qualifying campaigns are still being played.

The winners of the two single-leg games on June 13-14 will complete the 32-team World Cup lineup.

The intercontinental playoff was originally scheduled for March 2022 as two-leg, home and away series. The games were pushed back as the global qualifying program stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Canadiens @ Sabres Top Six Minutes: Just send Norlinder home already – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

  • Olofsson, Dahlin, Lehkonen, and Norlinder – Go Frölunda!

First Period

  • Thompson scores, from a Lehkonen turnover in Montreals zone, followed by some defence miscues. Here we go, again…
  • Montembeault with a brain fart, he has to scramble to make a fantastic save to keep the score at one down.
  • Post – Girgensons almost scores out of nothing.
  • Josh Andersson scores! Game is tied at one.
  • Toffoli goes down, but controls the puck and gets a good shot off.
  • Armia, then Caufield with giveaways in their own end.

Second Period

  • The Second period has started, not sure Montreal knows that. They barely get out of their own zone.
  • Olofsson gets in all alone on Montembeault, who somehow saves without knowing where the puck is.
  • It’s all Buffalo.
  • Dvorak with a sneaky move, Tokarski saves it after some initial problems.
  • Petry joins the attack, good moves, but drops the puck. Three-on-two the other way and Eakin makes it 2-1 Sabres.
  • Double power kill for Montreal.
  • Okposo gets like 15 chances, and scores on one of them. 3-1, blue.
  • Dvorak into the boards, awkwardly getting up.
  • … and a penalty to Montreal. Savard to the sin-bin.
  • Montreal kills off that penalty.
  • Norlinder TOI after the second period – 5:55. Montreal, and Marc Bergevin, seems to see it as a weakness to send him back to SHL.

Third Period

  • Gallagher-Evans-Lehkonen kickstarts the third period. No goal but a really good shift.
  • Almost Dvorak.
  • 4-1, Thompson.
  • Another break for Buffalo, Montembeault saves.
  • Chaos, utterly chaos in their own end.
  • This is a team without any confidence; no-one, absolutely no-one wants the puck on their stick.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Someone has to win that game

2) You can’t say the Canadiens’ special teams haven’t been productive this season

1) One of the players is going to let this slip some night

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One of Italy or Portugal will miss World Cup after qualifying draw – Sportsnet.ca

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ZURICH — European champion Italy and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were drawn in the same World Cup qualifying playoffs bracket Friday, meaning at least one of them will miss next year’s tournament in Qatar.

Italy will face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semifinal next March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot in the World Cup.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup — losing in the playoffs to Sweden — and now will likely have to beat Ronaldo and Portugal to avoid missing the tournament for a second straight time. Portugal has always qualified during Ronaldo’s career. He first played at the 2006 World Cup.

Also in the 12-team draw, Scotland will face Ukraine at home, and the winner will play at Wales or Austria in the final of their bracket.

Russia will host Poland for the right to face Sweden or the Czech Republic in their bracket final. Russia or Poland will host the final.

The six playoff semifinals will be played as single-leg elimination games March 24. The three finals are played five days later.

The three winners will complete Europe’s entry of 13 nations in the 32-team lineup in Qatar.

FIFA will make the tournament draw on April 1 in Doha.

The playoffs feature the 10 teams who finished second in their qualifying groups along with two teams — Austria and the Czechs — who won Nations League groups last year.

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