For the first time this qualifying cycle, Canada came out on the losing side after going down 1-0 away in Costa Rica on Thursday night.
The Canucks needed just a point on the night to punch their ticket to Qatar 2022 - their first World Cup since 1986.
However, the sending off of Mark-Anthony Kaye for two yellow card offenses left Canada up against it, and their job was made that much more difficult when midfielder Celso Borges headed home a Gerson Torres cross right on half-time.
To their credit, the 10 men of Canada took the game to Costa Rica in the second half, dominating possession, hitting the woodwork on a couple of occasions and creating a number of dangerous openings. Los Ticos were always a threat on the break, but then Canada had the freedom to go for the goal given their place at the top of the group.
In the end, Costa Rica held on and jumped into the intercontinental playoff spot. For Canada, their wait to officially qualify for the World Cup goes onto Sunday's clash at home to Jamaica.
Canada player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Milan Borjan (GK) - 8/10 - A couple of scary moments with the ball, but stood tall and pulled out a couple of big saves to keep Canada in the game.
Alistair Johnston (RB) - 7/10 - Solid defensively and provided a decent attacking outlet down the right. Replaced by Hoilett in the 70th minute as Herdman rolled the dice.
Atiba Hutchinson (CB) - 4/10 - Uncharacteristically nervous, especially in the second half. Made a couple of errors that landed his side in big trouble and had to be bailed out.
Kamal Miller (CB) - 7/10 - Neat and tidy on the ball and looked far more solid than Hutchison alongside him.
Richie Laryea (LB) - 7/10 - Caused Costa Rica trouble all night with his direct, driving runs. Was pretty strong defensively, too.
Tajon Buchanan (RM) - 7/10 - Kept the Costa Rica defense honest with some dynamic dribble. Came so close to levelling the score but could only rattle the crossbar.
Stephen Eustaquio (CM) - 7/10 - Would have been given a much higher rating for his metronomic passing, creativity, and defensive effort, but gets marked down for losing Celso Borges for the goal.
Mark-Anthony Kaye (CM) - 1/10 - Having already been booked and barely kept on the field after a VAR review, Kaye senselessly shouldered Johan Venegas away from play. Yes, the Costa Rica forward went down like he'd been shot and made a huge meal of it. Yes, the referee should have reviewed the incident before producing a second yellow. But Kaye knew the situation he was in and shouldn't have gone near Venegas at all.
Jonathan Osorio (LM) - 6/10 - Misplaced just one pass and was industrious, if a little safe. Requested to be subbed out late with an injury.
Cyle Larin (ST) - 5/10 - A couple of dangerous moments but not Larin's best night.
Jonathan David (ST) - 5/10 - Like Larin, David was only able to show flashes of his true quality. You wonder how much more service he'd have got had Kaye managed to stay on the field.
Junior Hoilett (for Johnston, 69 minutes) - 6/10 - Got straight to work driving at the Costa Rica defense and had a couple of exciting moments.
Ike Ugbo (for Larin, 80 minutes) - 5/10 - Unable to get into the game.
Ismael Kone (for Osorio, 80 minutes) - 6/10 - Knocked a few nice, sharp passes around but didn't come up with anything decisive.