Canada returned to the Senior World Cup with a 1-0 defeat Belgium at Al Rayyan’s Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Doha.
The Maple Leafs, led by their star Alphonse Davies, played their hearts out in the game but did not settle for 90 minutes of play.
Likewise, Thibaut Courtois was largely responsible for the American defeat after wearing his cap to save a penalty kick in the opening minutes of the game.
After a respectable scoreless performance in Mexico in 1986, the Canadian team returned to the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Doha’s Al Rayyan for the World Cup.
The Canadian team started with intensity and more vertigo, finding a clear penalty after Yannick Carrasco’s handball on a shot by Tajon Buchanan, the referee was called from VAR, watching the replay and upholding the maximum penalty. .
Bayern Munich star Alphonse Davies picked up the ball and outlined himself with his left foot, but Thibaut Courtois was superb in goal as he made a brilliant save to avoid falling on his own goal.
Belgium were unforgiving and needed the strength of ex-Liverpool man Michy Batshuayi towards the end of the first half.
At 44′ a long ball from the Belgium low zone came in, Batshuayi got the ball down perfectly, gained speed and shot across the ball, the ball broke and hung over the top of Borjan who couldn’t stop the 1-0 score.
In the second half, Canada came out with the same mentality, taking the ball, attacking from the flanks and winning the ball in the air.
Stefan Eustaquio, a Porto player, was very emphatic in midfielder with his fine touch, long range shots and control of the ball. But the goal never came.
Canada’s clearest shot came in the 78th minute when Alastair Johnston’s perfect ball down the right wing was met with a header by substitute Cyle Laurin in the area, but Courtois was unable to penetrate the wall. In the end he gave the Belgians a great victory.
The referee added five more minutes, but Belgium cooled off the game to claim the first three points of an already dominant group after Croatia drew with Morocco.