Belgium v Canada: World Cup 2022 – reside | World Cup 2022

Key occasions

16 min: Roberto Martinez wants to alter one thing, quick. As (ahem) predicted right here, the “veteran” Belgian defenders are having loads of hassle heading off the Canadian speedsters.

15 min: “Makes an attempt at objective”: Belgium 1 (first minute, innocent), Canada 7.

Costa Rica had zero.

13 min: Cross! Not cleared! Shot blocked! One other shot! Offside name!

That is all occurring within the Belgian field.

Belgium dominated play for … the primary possession of the sport. It has been all Canada since then.

The decision, alternatively, wasn’t controversial …


Canada may need an argument with the referee right here. That took without end to arrange, and Davies had far too lengthy to consider it. Courtois saves it fairly simply. The rebound goes again to Davies however at an ungainly angle.

Belgium’s keeper Thibaut Courtois is congratulated by his teammates after saving the penalty taken by Canada’s Alphonso Davies.
Belgium’s keeper Thibaut Courtois is congratulated by his teammates after saving the penalty taken by Canada’s Alphonso Davies. {Photograph}: Richard Heathcote/Getty Photos


That evaluate didn’t take lengthy, and supervisor Roberto Martinez appears like he’s about to swallow his personal face.

Yellow to Carrasco as nicely.

VAR reveals Carrasco had his arm out, and the shot hit his arm. Oh expensive …

Tajon Buchanan shot hits the wrist of Belgium's Yannick Carrasco to concede a penalty kick to Canada.
Tajon Buchanan shot hits the wrist of Belgium’s Yannick Carrasco to concede a penalty kick to Canada. {Photograph}: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

8 min: The nook lands to Buchanan, whose facet half-volley deflects upward and is snared by Courtois.

Is there a handball? The ref is trying!

7 min: It’s a promising Canadian cross from Buchanan that earns a nook kick.

Canada has accomplished 45 of the primary 69 passes of this sport, the stats say.

5 min: So to sum up to this point – one shot every means (Canada’s shot was blocked). And one impetuous foul by Tajon Buchanan. Ah, youth.

2 min: Canada bounces again with a superb spell of possession within the attacking third. This can be a frenetic begin.

1 min: Turnover, Belgian shot from long-range, simply saved.


Referee Janny Sikazwe of Zambia blows the whistle. He has loads of expertise however can also be recognized for blowing the whistle too early in a global sport. ““I believe God informed me to finish the match,” he stated. (Thanks, CTV, for noting this.)

The players and match officials take to the pitch.
The gamers and match officers take to the pitch. {Photograph}: Molly Darlington/Reuters

OK, yet one more …

Richard Hirst writes: “On the idea you’re Canadian, good luck, I’m rooting for you. In any case, (most of) The Band, Joni Mitchell, Neil Younger and Paul Peschisolido (sure, I’m a Fulham supporter) – not a foul line up.”

I’m not Canadian. At the very least, not but. However I’m an enormous Rush fan. And I like Youngsters within the Corridor. And well being care. And Sarah McLachlan. And I had a good time overlaying the Olympics in Whistler … OK, that’s it, I’m transferring.

Wait … it’s chilly?

Last preliminaries …

Peter Oh says this sport is an ideal “brunch menu”: “I don’t have a horse on this race however I like Belgian waffles and maple syrup. Scorching espresso is brewing and the solar is out on a crisp, chilly morning in Northern California. Life could possibly be worse!”

Ted Storer on CONCACAF: “You already know this higher than most. CONCACAF all the time appears to have a crew on the World Cup Finals who’re simply pleased to have certified (El Salvador – 1982, Jamaica -1998, Honduras – each time, Trinidad and Tobago – 2002, Panama – 2018, and many others). I’m actually hoping that Costa Rica is that crew for 2022 – having completed fourth within the regional {qualifications} and defeating New Zealand on a single objective within the Confederation Play-ins. Actually, actually, actually hoping it’s not the US – or Mexico – or Canada.”

And one for the stat information: Atiba Hutchinson is fairly outdated.

39-year-old Atiba Hutchinson begins for Canada right this moment.

🇨🇦 He is the 2nd-oldest outfield participant in a males’s World Cup sport (Roger Milla, 42) & the oldest starter.

🇨🇦 Of the 26 on Canada’s roster, he is the one one who was alive when Canada’s males final performed within the WC (1986).

— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) November 23, 2022

The Canadian anthem was greeted with a lot enthusiasm. Clearly loads of Canadian followers there. And the gamers, together with Herdman, sang loudly. Not on key by any stretch of the creativeness, however they gave it a strive.

Belgian lineup

This crew is seemingly fairly good, even with out Lukaku.

The Pink Devils even have three gamers who’re undoubtedly on the again – Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Leander Dendoncker – whereas others are kinda sorta defenders.

Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, generational skills in virtually any nation, are within the assault with Fenerbahce’s Michy Batshuayi.

One be aware: These guys aren’t younger. Gamers over 30: Courtois (30), Vertonghen (35), Alderweireld (33), Witsel (31), Hazard (31), De Bruyne (31). Good luck coping with 22-year-olds Davies and David.

Canadian lineup

Miller, Vitória and Johnston are the again line in what you possibly can name a 3-4-3 or 5-2-3 or 5-4-3-2-1 or no matter.

Davies performs farther again on the sector for Bayern however performs within the assault for Canada together with David and Hoilett.

Hutchinson, the 39-year-old captain, anchors the midfield with Eustáquio.

Cyle Larin, who led CONCACAF qualifying with six objectives, is on the bench.

The Canadian conductor …

John Herdman’s groups routinely beat the percentages.

He led New Zealand’s ladies to their first World Cup factors. (Title-dropping: I used to be there. I used to do attention-grabbing issues.)

He led Canada’s ladies to 2 Olympic bronze medals, one in every of which might simply have been silver or gold.

He led Canada’s males to a convincing march by means of CONCACAF qualifying.

On this case, he’s helped a bit by an upswing in Canadian expertise, prodded a bit by people who find themselves beginning to take soccer growth critically and intelligently. The Lengthy Time period Participant Growth mannequin stresses growth over successful, together with a mildly controversial precept of not preserving league standings for gamers beneath 12.

John Herdman shows his skills in a training session in Qatar.
John Herdman reveals his abilities in a coaching session in Qatar. {Photograph}: Nathan Denette/AP

Are the Canadians extra “American” than the USA?

This roster appears like a US roster of the Nineties and 2000s …

  • Gamers who performed in school (Kamal Miller, Alistair Johnston, Tajon Buchanan, Cyle Larin, Richie Laryea … plus a pair who performed in Canadian faculties)

  • Gamers who spent most of their childhoods elsewhere however have been eligible for Canada (Stephen Eustáquio, Steven Vitória)

  • Gamers who got here to Canada as refugees (Alphonso Davies, Milan Borjan)

Then add a number of gamers who got here up by means of MLS academies, together with the prodigy Davies, who moved from Vancouver to Bayern Munich in 2018.

Alphonso Davies in action for Bayern Munich.
Alphonso Davies in motion for Bayern Munich. {Photograph}: Heiko Becker/Reuters

Canada’s report: Poor

They’ve solely certified as soon as earlier than, shedding all three video games in 1986.

In CONCACAF qualifying, they’re sometimes thrashed by Central American opponents, hardly ever even making it to the ultimate spherical.

This time round?

They received the ultimate spherical.

And that’s after shedding two of their final three, having taken their ft off the fuel pedals after a torrid run during which they drew away to the mighty Mexico and USA and beat these groups, together with virtually everybody else, on dwelling tundra.

Canada 2, Japan 1

Did that get your consideration? Hope so.

That was the outcome final week when Canada confronted Japan final week with out two of its finest gamers, Alphonso Davies and Stephen Eustáquio.

Sure, that’s the identical Japanese crew that beat Germany 2-1 right this moment.

It’s not a fluke. Time to clarify why …

Canada's Lucas Cavallini celebrates after he scored from a penalty kick against Japan.
Canada’s Lucas Cavallini celebrates after he scored from a penalty kick towards Japan. {Photograph}: Christopher Pike/AP


The USA drew Wales 1-1 and has shaky possibilities to advance.

Mexico wanted a penalty save to carry Poland to a attract a gaggle torn asunder by Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina.

Costa Rica simply gave up 5 objectives to Spain. No, wait, six. Oops, seven. Is it over? Lastly? OK, transferring on.

So the hopes of North America relaxation with … Canada? Towards Belgium?

Certainly they do. And a outcome right here wouldn’t be the largest shock of the Cup. And a Canadian presence within the spherical of 16 is actually a robust risk, particularly after seeing Croatia and Morocco launch damp squibs in a scoreless draw right this moment.

This could possibly be enjoyable. Observe together with me, received’t you?

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