For me, the match against the Hungarians was the biggest World Cup challenge

For me, the match against the Hungarians was the biggest World Cup challenge

The Canadian national soccer team made it to the World Cup finals for the first time and the last time in 1986. Excited to be a World Cup player again after 36 years, some of the players who played in that time shared their Mexican experience with The Globe and Mail in Toronto, Including the group match against Hungary.

The Hungarian team against the Canadians in the 1986 World Cup, which North American veterans don’t have fond memories of (Photo: Getty Images)

In 1986, Canada and Hungary met in Group C, along with the Soviet Union and France, who finished third in the tournament.

Both teams started the group stage with defeats, but since our team lost 6-0 to the Soviets, the Canadians, who had a close match with the French national team and lost only 1-0, had reason for hope.

“We felt the match against the Hungarians might be our best chance of winning.” announce Carl Valentineforward for the Canadian team in 1986.

However, against expectations, the Hungarian national team took the lead in the second minute through Marton Esterházy, and after Lajos Detare also scored, they won 2-0.

“We fell behind very quickly, and we weren’t ready for that. We couldn’t have played well if we had to run after the score. It was the most disappointing defeat for us in that tournament.” Valentin continued.

canadian defender, Bob Lenarduzzi He felt the same as his teammate.

“I was very worried after our defeat against France, but when I saw the final result of the Soviet-Hungarian match, I felt we might have a chance to beat them. For me, that was the biggest disappointment of the World Cup.”

At the end of the group stage, both Canada and Hungary were eliminated from the tournament, and neither team managed to return to the World Cup until 2022.

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