Nearly 200 Manitoba soccer fans erupted with joy on Sunday at a viewing party as they watched the national team qualify for FIFA World Cup.
The Canadian men’s soccer team qualified for the first time since 1986 after a 4-0 win over Jamaica in Toronto.
The local fans gathered at the Pinnacle Club in IG field to watch the game, including some who remembered the last time the team qualified.
“Unbelievable. I said to the boys, we were young lads at 20 when they went in ’86 and we’re all 56 now. And hey, this is top of the list. This is awesome,” said Randy Ives, who watched the game with a group of friends.
Andre Dube brought his whole family to watch the game with him.
“This is huge for Canadian soccer, including the women that won the gold, this is the cherry on top of the cake right now,” he said.
“I thought it was fantastic,” added his son Nicholas, “So many great goals!”
Valour Football Club hosted the watch party, and celebrated alongside the other fans.
“They deserve it 100 per cent,” said Phillip Dos Santos, head coach and general manager of Valour FC.
He calls the win “historic.”
“It’s just going to be incredible for the country. It’s an enormous, enormous boost for the sport and it’s just an amazing time for soccer in this country.”
Local politicians also showed support for the Canadian men’s team, including Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.
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And Jon Reyes, Manitoba’s advanced education, skills and immigration minister, also showed some enthusiasm for the win.
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The Canadian team will head to Qatar for the World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in November.
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