Quebec soccer players rejoice at seeing Canadian men in running for World Cup

·2 min read
Quebec soccer players rejoice at seeing Canadian men in running for World Cup
Adam Guzman Bendib, standing in the Le Centre Multisport Rosemère, says he never thought Canada would make it this far.  (Sharon Yonan-Renold/CBC - image credit)
Adam Guzman Bendib, standing in the Le Centre Multisport Rosemère, says he never thought Canada would make it this far. (Sharon Yonan-Renold/CBC - image credit)

Canada's national men's soccer team is getting closer to qualifying for a spot in the 2022 World Cup, something it hasn't done since 1986, and people like Adam Guzman Bendib couldn't be happier.

"I would never think Canada would win. It was something. Like wow! It's a light in the dark," said Bendib, who plays regularly at the Centre Multisport Rosemère in Rosemère, Que., just north of Montreal.

He's been playing soccer for about a decade and he watched Tuesday's game with bated breath.

Massimo Dumoulin said seeing Canada win is reigniting his passion for the sport.

"It makes me want to try harder to be on that team. This pushes me to achieve my goal even more," he said.

Cyle Larin propelled Canada to a 2-1 win over Mexico on Tuesday, vaulting Canada to the top of the World Cup qualifying group.

It was Canada's first win against Mexico in over 21 years and first on home soil against the CONCACAF powerhouse since 1990.

Mexico has dominated the all-time series against Canada, winning 19 of the previous 32 encounters dating back to 1957, with only four losses.

Sharon Yonan-Renold/CBC
Sharon Yonan-Renold/CBC

Mike Vitulano, development director with Soccer Quebec, said the win is a sign of hope not only for players, but for fans across the province.

"For young girls and young boys and even coaches — coaches who have devoted their time to the game — it's inspiring to see our country on the map on the men's side and really knocking at the door and being recognized around the world," said Vitulano.

WATCH | Soccer Quebec's development director says Canada's victory was inspiring:

CS Titans coach Yohann Gariépy said he hopes the win showed his players accomplishments on the world stage are within their reach.

"The opportunities were already there," Gariépy said.

"Perhaps we could not grasp how close those opportunities were but definitely this is going to open a few people's eyes."

Canadian coach John Herdman said his "boys delivered" on Tuesday night, but he also reiterated that there's still lots of soccer to play.

"This is a 14-game war," Herdman said in the post-match news conference.

"We've only got six games left. Six tough matches. We just have to keep our feet on the ground."

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