The Canadian team, the new winners of the CONCACAF qualifiers, will face Qatar in a friendly in Vienna on Friday, which has been preparing behind closed doors for months to build a good image as hosts of the World Cup.
Canada, for its part, has its first qualification for a World Cup since Mexico–1986, with a compact team in which the young Alfonso Davies, the explosive and versatile Bayern Munich winger, stands out.
Coach John Harderman is eager to test his charges against other World Cup teams outside CONCACAF, where Canada made major upsets in qualifying, beating Mexico and the United States.
Canada will make their World Cup debut against Belgium on 23 November and will also take on Croatia and Morocco in Group F.
Although he is out with injury like Atiba Hutchinson and Jonathan Osorio, Harderman is expected to continue shaping his starting eleven in Friday’s clash against Qatar and Tuesday’s clash against Uruguay in Bratislava.
“We will learn a lot from these moments, being the first match against non-CONCACAF countries since the tour began in 2018,” Herdman said.
Canada seems to have left behind two major setbacks it experienced this year, first myocarditis that kept Alfonso Davies out for weeks and then labor conflicts with players that led to the suspension of the two friendships in June.
– Qatar and host pressure –
The duel against Canada will be a great opportunity to find out the status of the organizing team of the World Cup.
In their recent camps in Spain and Austria, Qatar is preparing behind closed doors for their baptism of fire in their opening match against Ecuador on November 20.
Spanish coach Felix Sanchez, who has led Qatar since 2017, will also be able to evaluate his players on Tuesday against Chile, the first public friendly they play in recent months.
After spending billions of dollars to host the first World Cup in the Middle East, Qatar dreams of progressing to the first round in Group A, where they will also face the Netherlands and Senegal.
For this, their players have already been released by their Qatari clubs, unlike the great European or South American teams, who will only receive their figures closer to the start date of the championship.
Qatar failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but won the Asian Cup in 2019 and reached the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup last year.
The match will begin at 7:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT) local time at the Generali Arena in Vienna with a capacity of 17,000 spectators:
Canada: Milan Borjan – Alistair Johnston, Steven Vittoria, Kamal Miller, Richie Laria – Stephen Eustaquio, Marc-Anthony Kaye, Alfonso Davis – Tajon Buchanan, David Jr. Hoillet and Cyl Larrin. DT: John Hurdman.
Qatar: Saad Al Sheeb – Abdelkarim Hasan, Pedro Correa, Tarek Salman, Bassam Hisham – Abdulaziz Hatem, Ali Asadalla, Ismail Mohamed, Mohamed Wad – Almoez Ali and Akram Afif. DT: Felix Sanchez.