It was a monumental night for the sport of soccer in the Great White North, with a capacity crowd filling the stands at BMO Field yesterday to see Canada defeat Panama 4-1 in a thrilling game that brought the team closer to competition in the FIFA World Cup next year.
Part of the qualifying round that determines the nations that will face off for the World Cup in Qatar in just over a year, last night’s match was an electrifying victory for Canada, which led to the 27th minute.
After tying the game 1-1, all of Canada ran away with three more goals. An outstanding performance from star Alphonso Davies helped the team to the decisive victory.
But not everyone who bought a ticket got to experience the whole game, and many even missed the massive equalizer that was scored almost a third into the game.
The long-awaited removal of sports venue capacity limits, announced by the province days before the game, meant that BMO Field’s 30,000 seats were all up for grabs. And the demand was clearly high.
—blogTO (@blogTO) October 14, 2021
Queues snaked around the stadium, with fans each having to provide proof of vaccination with their tickets, which more than doubled the time it took to process the crowd.
Thousands of people outside BMO Field in lines trying to enter the stadium.
It’s not great at all. Lots of frustrated fans. pic.twitter.com/Nms95KjINe
— Devin Héroux (@Devin_Héroux) October 13, 2021
Even those who arrived an hour or more early were caught up in the swirling chaos of red jerseys.
.@CanadaSoccerEN asked us to come en masse. We were doing. Too bad BMO Field wasn’t ready for us. Thousands of people wait outside after kick-off. No guidance from staff. This is unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/8o99Fu6NiG
—Anthony Lopopolo (@sportscaddy) October 13, 2021
Crowds still waiting to enter the stadium grew impatient as the sounds of kick-off and the cheers of supporters reached the parking lot.
Twenty minutes after kick-off, the queue to get in was still outrageously long.
– frankp (@mr_strat) October 13, 2021
And just minutes after Canada’s 27th-minute equalizer, the lines were still slowly filtering down to BMO Field.
— Sergio & Associates™️ 2.0 (@TheRealSergio_R) October 14, 2021
There were still fans online as the end of the first half approached.
The game was tied at this stage, but some very important moments had unfolded as many still struggled to enter the stadium.
—Jim Borwick (@j_borwick) October 14, 2021
By the end of the first half, most fans were finally seated, but they had missed much of what they had paid to see.
Still, the payoff was substantial, with the game’s second stanza bringing three more goals for the Boys in Red, still giving restless fans who missed parts of the game plenty to remember.