Lineups to get into the Canada vs. Panama soccer game in Toronto were out of control
It was a monumental night for the sport of soccer in the great white north, a full-capacity crowd filling the stands at BMO Field yesterday to witness Canada defeat Panama 4-1 in a thrilling match that brought the team one step closer to contention in the FIFA World Cup next year.
Part of the qualifying round that determines which nations will face off for the World Cup in Qatar just over one year from now, last night's match was an electrifying win for Canada, who were trailing into the 27th minute.
After tying the game 1-1, it was all Canada, running away with three more goals. A standout performance from star Alphonso Davies helped carry the team to the decisive win.
But not everyone who bought a ticket got to experience the whole game, and many even missed the huge equalizer goal that went down almost a full third of the way into the match.
The long-awaited removal of capacity limits on sports venues, announced by the province days before the match, meant that BMO Field's 30,000 seats were all up for grabs. And demand was clearly high.
Lines snaked around the stadium, fans each having to provide proof of vaccination along with their tickets, more than doubling the time required to process the crowds.
Thousands of people outside of BMO Field in lineups trying to get into the stadium.— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) October 13, 2021
This is not great at all. A lot of frustrated fans. pic.twitter.com/Nms95KjINe
Even those arriving an hour or more early were caught up in the swirling mayhem of red jerseys.
.@CanadaSoccerEN asked us to come out in droves. We did. Too bad BMO Field wasn’t ready for us. Thousands of people waiting outside after kickoff. No guidance from staff. This is unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/8o99Fu6NiG— Anthony Lopopolo (@sportscaddy) October 13, 2021
Crowds still waiting to get inside of the stadium started to grow impatient when the sounds of kickoff and cheering fans reached the parking lot.
Twenty minutes after kickoff, the line to get inside was still outrageously long.
And just a few minutes after Canada's game-tying goal in the 27th minute, lines were still slowly filtering into BMO Field.
There were still fans in line approaching the end of the first half.
The game was tied at this point, but some very significant moments had played out as many were still struggling to get into the stadium.
By the end of the first half, most fans were finally seated, but they'd missed much of what they paid to see.
Still, the payoff was substantial, the game's second stanza bringing three more goals for the boys in red, still giving agitated fans who missed parts of the game plenty to remember.
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