Meh I wouldn't say that Canada 'wasn't crap back then' if we're comparing them to now.
USA was an auto-qualifier and the non-Mexico Central American/Caribbean countries were just awful back then. Australia didn't even have a real pro league either so its not like beating them would have been a great accomplishment.
All it really does is show how badly Canada's stagnated over the past 20 years while everyone else has rocketed past them.
You're underestimating Australia. Their league was (and still is) lousy, but the Socceroos were blessed with a very strong generation. I don't know much about these Canadian players, but most of the Australians in the starting 11 played in Europe's top leagues. Heck, Mark Schwarzer still plays, at Fulham. Then there were others like Ned Zelic, Frank Farina and the Vidmar brothers.
Vic is still calling events for TSN.
The Duze is still involved with the 86ers/Whitecaps.
God I feel old.
Where's Leggat when you need him these days.
That was certainly a rather bizarre period in that time around USA 94. No home nations qualified for that tournament. France was eliminated at the last minute by Bulgaria in qualification. Denmark didn't make the tourney and the collapse of the eastern bloc meant we didn't get to see the full potential of what was coming from the Soviets, Yugoslavs, and the Czechs.
Argentina was seemingly screwed in the head since they had to go to a playoff in order to get into the tournament (that's what happens when Columbia spanks you 5-0 in the Monumental). They needed a late goal from Maradonna against the Aussies just to make the tournament.
That was certainly the age when Canada had something in the form of a generation of players who largely played in the old CSL, showing that you could make something of domestic soccer in the country.
Too bad we've taken knee jerk reactions to try at get back to our 1993 while other have gone further forward.
Honestly, I think the 1994 campaign was Canada's most successful in some ways.
In 1986, the competition wasn't as good and we benefited from the fact that El Salvador and Honduras (the two 82 qualifiers) were placed in the same first round group for some reason.
In 1994 qualification, we defeated Jamaica, El Salvador (with the away win in the final group stage the last time we beat a top Central American or Caribbean country away in a meaningful WCQ game), Honduras (and nearly beat them away as well but a scared referee awarded the Hondurans a last minute penalty), and Australia. Canada also came very close to defeating Mexico in Toronto in the decisive final group game determining direct qualification but had a goal wrongly ruled offside and lost 2-1.