Status: 11/23/2022 11:03 PM
Canadian soccer players will have to keep waiting for their first sense of accomplishment at the World Cup. They were not rewarded for their gallant performance against the favourites, the Belgians.
The Canadian football players had a lot of fun at the start of what was just their second World Cup stint, but once again went empty-handed. On Wednesday evening (November 23, 2022), Ornblatter lost at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, 0-1 (0-1), to the Belgians, who are part of the nominated expanded group. The bad luck of the shootout and their weakness in the end cost the Canadians a well-deserved point. After the goalless premiere of the World Cup in 1986, it would have been the first ever on the big football stage.
The Belgians failed to prove their class over long periods. Against the passionate style of the Canadiens, the “Red Devils” lacked both playful solutions and composure to keep events under control. Until the final whistle, the third place in the 2018 World Cup had to worry about the three points and the lead in Group F. Croatia, vice-champions of the world, had not previously played a match against Morocco 0:0 get out.
Martinez: “We have to improve” – Herdmann is proud of his team
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez tried to take the positives from his team’s slow start. He said, “What we had to do, we did.” “We know we didn’t play well and we have to improve.” Canadian coach John Herdman was saddened by the missed opportunity but praised his team, saying, “We are proud of our performance. The players showed their resilience at this stage.”
Courtois saves a penalty kick from Davies
The Canadians didn’t even think about hiding from the start – and almost had their first World Cup moment after just ten minutes. After extensive video consultations with his assistants, Zambian referee Jani Sikazwe penalized Yannick Carrasco’s handball when Tajon Buchanan attempted to shoot. Punishment for Canada! Alphonso Davies started, in contrast to the Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who announced his fitness in time after the injury. But Bayern’s weak professional shot was prey to Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (10). The Canadians missed their first World Cup goal.
Foul by Witsel – Canada is denied a penalty
It was amazing how long it took the experienced Belgian defense to tame their blistering attacking and powerful outsiders and bring order to their game. Especially with Davis’ lightning speed, the defense ran into a lot of trouble. After a pass from Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi reached a good position for the Belgians in the 23rd minute, but was blocked. Canada responded shortly afterwards with a promising attack on the right, but Courtois blocked Alistair Johnston’s powerful shot (30).
The Belgians were lucky that referee Sikazui did not signal at least once more before the break. In the 21st minute, there was a wrong decision for offside after a back pass from Hazard, which is why the VAR team could not validate a subsequent foul in the Belgian penalty area. Later, Axel Witsel hit Richie Larrea on the foot, who was rushing towards the baseline, but the referees’ team decided against a penalty kick (40).
Batshuayi turned the match upside down with a goal to zero
Basically, the kick and rush attack was enough for the Belgians to take the lead. Defender Toby Alderweireld hit a long ball at the top, as Batshuayi evaded the defenders and cleared it (44). 14-4 shots on target for Canada but 1-0 for Belgium – the score at halftime must have been a slap in the face for Coach Herdmann’s side.
Canada with passion but weak in the end
Even after the restart, Canada pressed so hard that the Belgians – now with Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier – continued to have problems organizing their game from inside their own half. How long will the North American kickers last in this grueling game? A long time ago, because her incredible esprit de corps seemed to inspire her again and again.
It was important how the Canadians celebrated a save against Batshuayi, who was ready to shoot (67th). Assist provider Kevin De Bruyne, who owed a lot in this game, admitted missing his teammate’s chance by ignoring his resignation. Canada kept running but wasn’t strong enough at the end, like Kyle Larraine’s header, which was safely intercepted by Courtois (80′). Belgium did little to exaggerate the result but held on to a narrow lead as time went on.
On Sunday (November 27 2022/2pm CET) Belgium will now meet Morocco, for Canada it won’t be any easier against Croatia (5pm CET).
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