World Cup 2022: Canada vs. Belgium final result, highlights, analysis
Belgium 1, Canada 0
Canada got off to a hot start, pressuring the Belgium defensive line with runs in behind and slick passing around the box. Alphonso Davies had the early breakthrough at his feet when he lined up for penalty, but his poor effort was easily saved by Thibault Courtois.
Despite the disappointment at the start, Canada kept putting the pressure on, forcing Courtois into more big saves. The Canadians will also feel slighted, with two more clear penalty calls ignored by referee Janny Sikazwe.
Belgium caught the Canadian defence sleeping in the waning minutes of the opening half, with centre-back Toby Alderweireld floating an accurate through ball into the path of striker Michy Batshuayi, who slotted the ball home and take a lead into half-time.
Canada continued putting the pressure on in the second half, putting cross after cross into the box, looking for the head of substitute Cyle Larin. The few chances that reached the net were comfortably stopped by Courtois as Canada never came very close to tying the game at one goal apiece.
Belgium sat back for the majority of the second frame, absorbing the Canadian pressure and clearing the ball to their forwards for a counter attack. The Red Devils did not pose too much of a threat to Milan Borjan's net, with Kamal Miller putting in a defensive masterclass to keep his opponents from extending their lead.
Despite Canada's best efforts, the referee blew the final whistle after five minutes of added time, and the boys in red and white dropped their first game of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
After waiting 36 years, Canada is finally back in the World Cup. Alphonso Davies and Co. have a stiff test to begin their run in Qatar as they take on FIFA powerhouse Belgium on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Canada looks overmatched on paper but this World Cup has already featured a number of upsets, including Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina and Japan coming back to top Germany. The Canadians looked good throughout their qualifying run and feature a pair of stars capable of making magic happen in Davies and Jonathan David.
Here's the lineup Canada rolled out to begin the match:
HERE. WE. GO. 🍁#WeCAN pic.twitter.com/51Xit3yFJF
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) November 23, 2022
John Herdman's squad got a little bit of help on the scoreboard earlier on Wednesday when Croatia and Morocco played to a scoreless draw, meaning neither team took the three points that come from a victory.
Follow along below for all the latest updates, highlights and analysis as Canada looks to record the tournament's latest shocking result.
How to watch the match:
Start time: 2:00 p.m. ET
TV channel: CTV and TSN
How to stream: TSN.ca
Canada will be thrown right into the fire to begin the 2022 World Cup, taking on a Belgium squad with championship aspirations. Belgium is coming off a third-place finish in 2018 and will be hoping to bring home the top prize this time as its aging star players reach the end of their international careers.
What group is Canada in?
Canada was drawn into Group F, and there are no easy teams to beat up on. Canada's opponents will be second-ranked Belgium, 12th-ranked Croatia and 22nd-ranked Morocco. Canada is currently ranked 41st, making them a long shot to reach the Round of 16.
What Canadian players should I keep an eye on?
Davies is Canada's best player and is a legitimate superstar on the world stage. David is making a name for himself playing for Lille in France's top domestic league. Other names who could make an impact include Stephen Eustáquio, Tajon Buchanan, and Cyle Larin.
You can find the full roster here.
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