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World Cup 2022: Canada loses to Belgium despite a convincing performance


The young Canadians played rousing attacking football against Belgium, with a 39-year-old providing stability in the centre. Only the efficiency was missing. World Cup favorite Belgium benefited from the questionable VAR.

Enlarge image

Alphonso Davies (right), here against Michy Batshuayi, put in a strong performance but also missed a penalty


Ronald Wittek/EPO

Not enough target water:

Canada played Belgium against the wall at times in the first half and earned 14 shots.

More than any other team so far at this World Cup.

Only the precision was missing, even with the greatest chance.

After a handball from Belgium's Yannick Carrasco in his own penalty area, Alphonso Davies grabbed the ball. The FC Bayern winger is Canada's biggest star - but has not yet appeared as a penalty taker in the Bundesliga.

You could tell that from the 22-year-old.

He pushed the ball far too casually in the direction of the goal, Thibaut Courtois parried (10th minute) - and Canada's waiting continues.

So far, the North Americans have only attended one World Cup, that was in 1986. At that time they remained pointless and goalless, and they couldn't eliminate this flaw.


Despite a mixed performance, Belgium won 1-0 (1-0) against Canada.

Here is the match report.

World Cup perennial:

What the Canadian team lacks in tournament experience, the coach more than makes up for.

The Englishman John Herdman – himself never tested at a higher level – twice led the New Zealand women's national team to a World Cup, and in 2015 he did the same again with Canada.

At that time he even made it to the quarterfinals, in 2018 he took over the men.

Are similar successes possible with this team?


In any case, Herdman was satisfied.

"We showed that we're right here," he said after the game.

But no one can take a record away from the trained teacher: Never before has a coach led both a women's and a men's national team to a World Cup.

The first half:

Canada pushed forward with a lot of force.

Fast and young Davies, Tajon Buchanan and Jonathan David posed problems for the aging Belgian back three with Leander Dendoncker, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

It was only at the end that there was a problem, not just when the penalty kick was missed.

And so it happened as it had to happen: Michy Batshuayi took advantage of Belgium's first really good chance to take the lead shortly before the break (44th).

Video trouble:

Canada got a penalty, a second and a third they were denied.

First, Vertonghen fouled Buchanan in the penalty area.

The team of referees led by Janny Sikazwe saw the attacker offside, a glaring mistake because the ball did not come from a Canadian but from a Belgian (21st).

In the 38th minute, Richie Lareya moved into the penalty area, ex-Dortmunder Axel Witsel came too late, pulled the Canadian by the jersey and kicked him in the foot.

Again Sikazwe decided to continue playing.

Both times the video assistant did not correct the wrong decision.

When the top stars falter:

Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgians have been raving about their »golden generation« for more than ten years.

The 2018 World Cup third is still waiting for the really big hit.

After the start there is little to suggest that the title will work out this year.

Manchester City playmaker De Bruyne dived against Canada, playing bad pass after bad pass.

Hazard showed nothing to suggest he would be able to shake off years of form slump in the national shirt.

And Lukaku watched the game from the stands.

The Canadian warrior:

Only one player in Canada's current squad had been born when Canada made their debut at a World Cup in 1986: captain Atiba Hutchinson.

The 39-year-old is now the second-oldest outfield player ever to have played at a World Cup.

Only Cameroonian Roger Milla was older at 42 in 1994.

Before the game, Hutchinson passionately swore in his team - leaning on a sword with the inscription "Nihil timendum est", in English: "nothing to fear".

The Canadians also had the sword with them at the qualifiers, it was confiscated once in Costa Rica and Canada promptly lost after 17 games in a row without bankruptcy.

Hutchinson was without a sword against Belgium, but he still put in an impeccable fighting spirit until he was substituted in the 58th minute.

The second half:

Belgium continued to withdraw but struggled to get into the game.

Canada was more aggressive, but again lacked callousness.

While Canada has dominated ice hockey for decades and has won the world championship 27 times, the Canadian football nation still has the status of a developing country.

However, the development points in the right direction, even if the North Americans in the desert state lacked the strength to equalize in the end.

Here's how it goes:

Even if it just wasn't enough against Belgium, a similar performance against Croatia, who disappointed in the 0-0 draw against Morocco, is possible on Sunday (5 p.m.) for the first goal in Canada's World Cup history.

Belgium got away with a black eye and can show against Morocco (Sunday, 2 p.m.) that they can win without refereeing.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-11-23

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