Status: 11/23/2022 11:03 pm
Canadian footballers must continue to wait for their first achievement at the World Cup. He was not rewarded for his courageous performance against favorites Belgium.
Canadian footballers had a lot of fun at the start of their second World Cup mission, but once again came away empty-handed. On Wednesday evening (November 23, 2022) at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, “Ahornblatter” lost 0-1 (0-1) against Belgium, who are among the extended group of favourites. Bad luck with the penalty and their own weakness in the finish cost the Canadians a well-deserved point. This would have been the first time on the big football stage, since a goalless World Cup premiere in 1986.
The Belgian failed to prove his class for long. Against the passionate style of the Canadiens, the “Red Devils” lacked both playful solutions and the ability to keep events under control. By the final whistle, the 2018 World Cup third had three points and lead in Group F to worry about. Vice world champion Croatia had no match against Morocco earlier 0:0 Out.
Martinez: “We have to improve” – Herdman proud of his team
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez tried to take positives from a slow start for his minimal players. He said, ‘We did what we had to do. “We know we didn’t play well and we need to improve.” Canadian coach John Herdman bemoaned the missed opportunity but praised his team: “We are proud of our performance. The players have shown they can survive on this stage.”
Courtois saves a penalty from Davies.
The Canadians didn’t even think to hide from the outset – and they had their first World Cup moment after only ten minutes. After extensive consultation with his video assistants, Zambian referee Jenny Sikazwe penalized Yannick Carrasco’s handball when Tajon Buchanan attempted to shoot. Penalty to Canada! Alphonso Davies, who has reported to be fit in good time after an injury, started, in contrast to Belgium’s star striker Romelu Lukaku. But the Bayern professional’s poorly placed low shot fell victim to Real keeper Thibaut Courtois (10′). A great chance for Canada’s first World Cup goal was gone.
Foul by Witsel – Canada are denied a penalty.
It was astonishing how long it took the experienced Belgian defense to subdue the sharp attacking, strong tackling outsiders and bring a basic order to their play. The lightning quickness in particular caused a lot of trouble for Davis’ defense. Micky Batshua got into a good finishing position for the Belgian in the 23rd minute, following a pass from Eden Hazard, but was blocked. Canada responded shortly after with a promising attack down the right flank, but Alistair Johnson’s powerful shot (30′) was saved by Courtois.
The Belgians were lucky that referee Sikazwe didn’t signal at least once before the break. Hazard’s back pass in the 21st minute was followed by a wrong decision for offside, which is why the subsequent foul in Belgium’s penalty area could not be checked by the VAR team. Later on, Axel Witsel hit Richie Laria with his foot, who was pushing towards the baseline, but the referee’s team decided against a penalty (40′).
Batsui turned the match 1-0
Originally, a kick-and-rush attack was enough for Belgium to take the lead. Defender Tobi Alderweireld hit a long ball over the top, where Batsui escaped his defenders and cleared (44′). 14-4 shots on goal for Canada but 1-0 for Belgium – the result at the break would have been a slap in the face to coach Herdmann’s team.
Canada with passion, but weak in the end
Even after the restart, Canada applied so much pressure that Belgium – now with Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier in defense – continued to have trouble structuring their play from their own half. How long will North American kickers play this exhausting game? A long time, as his incredible team spirit seemed to inspire him again and again.
It was important how the Canadians celebrated the rescue against Batshuayi, who was ready to shoot (67th). Support provider Kevin De Bruyne, who owed much of the game, acknowledged his team-mate’s missed chances with a resigned shrug. Canada went on the run but weren’t strong enough in finishes, such as Syl Larrin’s header, which Courtois intercepted safely (80′). Belgium did little to increase the result but maintained a narrow lead as time went on.
Belgium now take on Morocco on Sunday (27 November 2022/2pm CET), it won’t be easy for Canada against Croatia (5pm CET).
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