Tuesday night's match at BMO Field was a special one for the Canadian women's national team. In front of 29,212 fans, a record for a Canada game in the province of Ontario -- for either the men's or women's national teams -- a 2-1 comeback victory over Jamaica saw Canada beat the Reggae Girlz 4-1 on aggregate and book their spot in next summer's Olympic Games in Paris. There, they will try to defend their gold medal from Tokyo 2020, or at least step on the podium for the fourth time in a row. With the win, they also qualify for the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup, which will take place early next year in the United States. The Canadian Premier League sent two photographers -- Kaj Larsen and Michael Chisholm -- to capture the game on a beautiful night at BMO Field, and below are some of their best shots.
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Before the match even kicked off, the crowd at BMO Field was fired up for what was a crucial match. The Voyageurs, Canada's supporters group, unfurled a tifo in the south stand that read: "WE KNOW WHO WE ARE, WE KNOW WHO WE ARE, OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS, WE KNOW WHO WE ARE". The fans chanted that on a couple of occasions throughout the night, reminding those in attendance that Les Rouges were there to take care of business and move one step closer to defending their Olympic crown. While it was Jamaica who took the lead in the 33rd minute on a brilliant free kick from Drew Spence, Canada responded quickly, rattling the crossbar twice in the moments following the opening goal. Although they started the match well, perhaps conceding the first goal was the wakeup call Canada needed, as they instantly found another level. Six minutes after Spence's free kick hit the back of the net, Cloé Lacasse equalised for Canada, heading a corner from Adriana Leon past Becky Spencer -- Jamaica's goalkeeper, who had a great game but ended up on the losing end of it. It was 1-1 entering halftime, with Canada restoring their two-goal lead from the first leg in Kingston on Friday night. A 1-1 draw would have been enough to see Canada go through after winning 2-0 in the first leg, but they weren't satisfied with a draw and pushed hard for more. Large stretches of the second half were dominated by the Canadians, and five minutes after halftime they found the back of the net for a second time. Ashley Lawrence crossed the ball into the area for Jordyn Huitema, who headed the ball past Spencer to give Canada the lead, and ultimately a 2-1 victory. They came close to extending their lead on multiple occasions, with substitutes Olivia Smith, Simi Awujo, and Christine Sinclair all coming close to scoring, but a third goal would never come. Canada's biggest stars showed up in this match, playing with the passion and intent that many people demanded after their disappointing early exit from the Women's World Cup this summer. Some extra motivation might have come from the fact that this match was on home soil, and in Toronto. Several members of the team are from the Greater Toronto Area, or other parts of Ontario, so this was something of a homecoming for many of them. Lacasse, who is from Sudbury, ON, said to reporters after the match that her family was in the stands, and emotional after seeing her score the tying goal. "My mom, bless her heart, always cries but today she was crying a little extra hard," Lacasse shared. When it was all said and done, Canada had completed their task: qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games. The Canadians will head to Paris next summer with the goal of repeating as champions. It certainly won't be easy, but this team has never had it easy. The first step was to qualify, and that hurdle has been cleared (pardon the Olympics pun). The hard work will continue in the leadup to the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup, Olympic Games, and beyond. Before looking too far into the future, however, it's important to enjoy the moment. Canadian fans certainly did when Christine Sinclair entered the pitch in the second half to a thunderous standing ovation. With her future uncertain, and knowing that she is in the twilight of her career, the 40-year-old Canadian captain appeared emotional at the final whistle and was the recipient of an abundance of hugs and handshakes. Of course we couldn't put together a photo gallery without featuring the GOAT.