What Alphonso Davies did in the first minute of the second World Cup game of his career should hardly have surprised the soccer-obsessed public between Munich and Vancouver: He ran across the field. Most matches so far this World Cup have started very slowly, which is why the Croatian didn’t let Davies’ sprint when the ball entered his half affect his defensive efforts too much. Until suddenly a half-field cross flew by – and the FC Bayern full-back was already in the very first penalty area, where he briefly flew and then scored 1-0. It was a gateway of historical importance to his country.
Canada’s first goal at the World Cup confirmed the impression from the first game, in which the team had already impressed with their daring attacking play, only to be thwarted by Belgium’s indifference and Davies’ nerves at the penalty spot. In the end it was 0:1, disqualified and therefore more serious.
The experience of the World Cup stage will also be remembered, where every word carries weight
History was to repeat itself as Davies’ opening goal against Croatia was the prelude to a daring performance, however, it had obvious flaws: Croatia eventually won 4–1 to qualify themselves for the round of 16. Placed in position – during which it is certain that Canada will begin their journey home after the group stage.
Apart from two good performances, the North American will also remember the experience at the World Championship stage where every word carries a lot of weight. Especially if it starts with “f” and ends with “uc”. After the Belgium match, Canada’s coach John Herdman bluntly declared that Croatia should not worry too much. This earned him a reply from Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić (“We are second in the World Cup. We expect respect”) and a tabloid magazine. 24 SATAwhich Herdmann painted on the cover, with a large maple leaf over the mouth and a smaller maple leaf over the lower body areas.
The initial clash was followed by an intimidating run from 22-year-old Davies, which briefly troubled the Croatian, who was not only experienced in tabloid trash talk with his goal. It took fifteen minutes for Luka Modric and his midfield partners Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic to come to terms with the early deficit – but then the game turned. The Croatians, in the first game against Morocco were still particularly obscure in the opposing half, got better every minute in the game, controlling the action and creating chances: Andrej Kramaric made it 1–1 in the 26th minute, but This led to it being canceled due to an offside position.
A 1-0 sprint still possible for 26-year-old Davis
The equalizer came eleven minutes later: Ivan Perisic put the ball through his opponent’s legs for Kramarić, who shot at the far post. Croatia seemed to have now found the playful ease that Dalic’s team had recently coveted in the run-up to Qatar. Kovacic notably continued to carve out space in midfield, while Modric and Brozovic secured the spot. In the 44th minute, full-back Josip Juranovic, who had left Davies alone in the first minute, ran towards Canada’s penalty area and found striker Marko Livaja, who scored from less than 15 meters out to make it 2. Gave. -1.
A well-deserved half-time lead for Croatia and the picture remained the same in the second half: Canada tried again and again with their counterattacks, but left too many gaps open in defence. In the 54th minute, Kramarić already had the initial decision on his feet, but only scored in the 70th minute to make it 3–1, again from Perisic’s pass. Shortly before the end, Lovro Major scored 4:1, with the Croatians reporting back after initial problems in their status as title candidates.
However, in purely statistical terms, Canada’s balance sheet reads grimly. However, experience counts for a lot for the Canadians with regards to a home World Cup in 2026 – and the good news is: A historic 1-0-like sprint is still possible for 26-year-old Alphonso Davies.
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