Milan Borjan was sitting in the bowels of Tim Hortons Field with a Canadian flag draped across his back.
Earlier on Sunday afternoon, the Canada men’s national team goalkeeper made multiple crucial saves to help ensure Canada would stay on top of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table with a 2-0 win over the United States.
For a moment, Borjan allowed himself to recognize how monumental the win was, while also looking ahead.
“This team just doesn’t give up anymore,” said Borjan. “This is the new soccer in Canada, and we’re just gonna keep pushing and fighting for the new generation. We’ve changed football here in Canada.”
And what comes next could be historic: a likely World Cup berth for just the second time for the men’s national team’s. Canada qualified for the 1986 World Cup but lost all three games and left Mexico without a goal.
On Wednesday, Canada has a mathematical chance to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, which begins in late November. Yes, the odds are long: Canada would need to win in El Salvador, the United States and Panama would need to lose their games against Honduras and Mexico, respectively, and Costa Rica would need to draw or lose.
But this still sums up how Canadian soccer fans feel right now:
Even if every result doesn’t break in Canada’s favour, that still allows more time for even more people to hop on the #CanMNT bandwagon. (Canada will have a chance to qualify again during the final window of games beginning in late March.)
This team’s rapid ascent has made them the feel-good story of international soccer right now.