Belgium v ​​Canada: World Cup 2022 live | World Cup 2022

Key events

38 min: How is that not a penalty? Witsel bypasses Laria from behind. He could cause a push or a trip. He does not call either one or the other.

Again, I hate to criticize judges, but this is routine.

Wait.. VAR is looking!

36 min: Canada slows it down a bit. Davis then slips through the center, but the possession doesn’t go anywhere.

35 min: Are we in Toronto?

“This is our house!” Canadian fans applaud Milan Borjan’s goal

— Charles Boehm (@cboehm) November 23, 2022

32 min: Hoylett easily and cleanly wins the battle with Hazard, then shoots the ball into the box to David, whose header does not bother anyone.

31 min: Oh, but youth shows up sometimes! Eustaquio creates an opportunity for David, who could easily send the ball to a team-mate rushing down the right flank, but instead he shoots.

Canada beat Belgium 11-2.


30 minutes: Johnston hits the ball box. He falls. No call, probably wise. But the ball comes back to him, and his shot touches Courtois’s gloves.

Canada really deserves a goal here. They passed it on to an experienced team.

28 min: Witsel initiates contact. He falls. He draws a foul. Remember the old “Jordan Rules” of the NBA, where all the calls went to Michael Jordan? Yeah.

27 min: Davis holds up well against several defenders. He shifts the blow to Hutchinson, who strikes quickly and hits far from the target.

25 min: This time around, de Bruyne leads the break in the middle. Lariya makes small contact with Azar, who seems to consider dropping, but decides against it. Good for him.

But then he cuts off minor contact with Johnston. I’m a judge, so I don’t criticize the judges, but okay, man.

23 min: Other bad news: the bench press can be beaten. The straight ball goes to Hazard, who makes a graceful turn, leaving Johnston in the dust. Miller makes a vital block to concede a corner that leads to nothing…other than a counter-attack that forces Courtois to rush out of the box to take cover.

Canadian goaltender Milan Borjan and Kamal Miller celebrate Miller's block.
Canadian goaltender Milan Borjan and Kamal Miller celebrate Miller’s block. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters

22 min: The Canadian press (on the field, not in the press box where the Canadian press does a great job) is a sight to behold. The bad news is that the referee is now calling breath fouls on Belgian players.

20 minutes: Buchanan becomes a liability due to his foul habit. Maybe a disadvantage of playing college football?

19 min: Belgium breaks the press! Here comes De Bruyne! Tielemans is wide open to his right!

And De Bruyne meekly drips into the Canadian forest.

Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium (right) is running with the ball as he is chased by Canadian players.
Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium takes the lead. Photo: Natasha Pisarenko/AP

18 min: Belgium finally gets a minute of possession. It’s in their half, but at least it’s a depressurization period. In the meantime, the press gives the ball to Courtois.

16 min: Roberto Martinez needs to change something, and quickly. As (ahem) predicted here, the “veteran” Belgian defenders have a lot of trouble fending off the Canadian speedsters.

15 minutes: Shots on goal: Belgium 1 (first minute, harmless), Canada 7.

Zero in Costa Rica.

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

It all happens in Belgian boxing.

Belgium dominated the game for… the first possession of the game. Since then, it has been all of Canada.

The call, on the other hand, was not controversial…


Canada may have an argument with the referee here. It took forever, and Davis had too much time to think about it. Courtois saves him quite easily. The rebound returns to Davis, but at an awkward angle.

Teammates congratulate Belgian goalkeeper Thibault Courtois after a penalty was saved by Canadian Alphonso Davies.
Teammates congratulate Belgian goalkeeper Thibault Courtois after a penalty was saved by Canadian Alphonso Davies. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images


This review didn’t take long and manager Roberto Martinez looks like he’s about to swallow his own face.

Yellow is also Carrasco.

VAR shows that Carrasco had his arm outstretched and the bullet hit his arm. Oh my God …

Tyon Buchanan's shot hit Belgian Yannick Carrasco's wrist and Canada conceded a penalty.
Tyon Buchanan’s shot hit Belgian Yannick Carrasco’s wrist and Canada conceded a penalty. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

8 min: The cornerer lands on Buchanan, whose lateral half-volley deflects upward and traps Courtois.

Is there handball? Referee is looking for!

7 min: It’s Buchanan’s promising Canadian cross that earns a corner.

Statistically, Canada completed 45 of the first 69 passes in that game.

5 minutes: So, for now, let’s summarize – one throw in each direction (Canada’s throw was blocked). And one swift foul from Tajon Buchanan. Ah, youth.

2 minutes: Canada bounces back with good possession in the attacking third. It’s a hectic start.

1 minute: Turnover, the Belgian struck from a long distance, easily repulsed.

Kick off

Referee Jenny Sikazwe from Zambia blows his whistle. He has a lot of experience but is also known for blowing his whistle too early in an international game. “I think God told me to finish the match,” he said. (Thanks CTV for pointing this out.)

Players and match officials enter the field.
Players and match officials enter the field. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters

Okay, one more…

Richard Hurst writes: “Assuming you’re Canadian, good luck, I’m rooting for you. After all, (most of) The Band, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Paul Peschisolido (yes, I’m a Fulham fan) are a good lineup.”

I am not Canadian. At least not yet. But I’m a big Rush fan. And I love the kids in the hall. And healthcare. And Sarah MacLachlan. And I had a great time covering the Whistler Olympics… Okay, everyone, I’m moving.

Wait… is it cold?

Final preliminary…

Peter Oh says the game is the perfect “breakfast menu”: “I don’t have a horse in this race, but I love Belgian waffles and maple syrup. Hot coffee is being brewed as the sun shines on a frosty Northern California morning. Life could be worse!”

Ted Storer on CONCACAF: “You know it better than most. CONCACAF always seems to have a World Cup Final team that is just happy to have qualified (El Salvador 1982, Jamaica 1998, Honduras every time, Trinidad and Tobago 2002, Panama 2018, etc.). I really hope that Costa Rica will become such a team in 2022, finishing fourth in the regional qualifier and defeating New Zealand with a single goal in the Confederation play-in. I really, really, really hope it’s not the US or Mexico or Canada.”

And one for the statistics files: Atiba Hutchinson is quite old.

Atiba Hutchinson, 39, starts today in Canada.

🇨🇦 He is the second-oldest outfield player in the men’s World Cup match (Roger Milla, 42) and the oldest starting player.

🇨🇦 Of the 26 Canadian players, he was the only one who survived when the Canadians last played at the World Cup (1986).

— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) November 23, 2022

Canada’s anthem was received with great enthusiasm. Obviously there are a lot of Canadian fans there. And the players, along with Herdman, sang loudly. Not in the key by any stretch of the imagination, but they tried.

Belgian squad

This team looks good even without Lukaku.

The Red Devils also have three players who are definitely in the back – Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Leander Dendonker – while the others are sort of defensive backs.

Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, the talents of almost every country’s generation, are on the attack with Fenerbahce’s Michy Batshuayi.

One note: these guys are not young. Players over 30: Courtois (30), Vertonghen (35), Alderweireld (33), Witsel (31), Hazard (31), De Bruyne (31). Good luck communicating with 22 year olds Davis and David.

Canadian squad

Miller, Vitoria and Johnston are the back line, which can be called 3-4-3, 5-2-3, 5-4-3-2-1 or something like that.

Davis plays further on the pitch for Bayern but plays forward for Canada alongside David and Hoylett.

Hutchinson, the 39-year-old captain, plays in midfield with Eustaquio.

Sile Larin, who led CONCACAF qualifying with six goals, is on the bench.

Canadian conductor…

John Herdman’s teams usually win.

He led the New Zealand women to their first World Cup points. (Naming: I was there. I used to do interesting things.)

He led Canadian women to two Olympic bronze medals, one of which could easily have been silver or gold.

He led Canada’s men on a resounding march through the CONCACAF qualification.

In this case, he was helped a little by the rise of Canadian talent, which gave a little push to people who are beginning to take the development of football seriously and sensibly. The long-term player development model emphasizes development over winning, including the somewhat controversial principle that players under the age of 12 do not retain league position.

John Herdman demonstrates his skills in training in Qatar.
John Herdman demonstrates his skills in training in Qatar. Photo: Nathan Denette/AP

Are Canadians more “American” than the US?

This lineup looks like an American lineup from the 1990s and 2000s…

  • Players who played in college (Kamal Miller, Alistair Johnston, Tajon Buchanan, Sile Larin, Richie Lari… plus a couple who played in Canadian colleges)

  • Players who spent most of their childhood elsewhere but were eligible for training camp in Canada (Steven Eustachio, Stephen Vitoria)

  • Players who came to Canada as refugees (Alphonso Davis, Milan Borjan)

Then add in a few players trained in MLS academies, including prodigy Davis, who moved from Vancouver to Bayern Munich in 2018.

Alphonso Davies with Bayern Munich.
Alphonso Davies with Bayern Munich. Photo: Heiko Becker/Reuters

Canadian Record: Bad

They had only qualified once before, losing all three games in 1986.

In CONCACAF qualifiers, they usually lose to rivals from Central America and rarely even reach the final round.

This time?

They won the last round.

And this after losing two of their last three, having taken their feet off the gas after a hot run in which they broke away from the mighty Mexico and the United States and beat these teams, like almost everyone else, in their native tundra.

Canada 2, Japan 1

Did it get your attention? I hope so.

This was the result of last week when Canada faced Japan without two of their best players, Alphonso Davis and Stephen Eustaquio.

Yes, this is the same Japanese team that beat Germany 2-1 today.

it No accident. Time to explain why…

Canadian Lucas Cavallini celebrates his penalty victory over Japan.
Canadian Lucas Cavallini celebrates his penalty victory over Japan. Photograph: Christopher Pike/AP


The USA has drawn with Wales 1-1 and have a shaky chance of an exit.

Mexico needed a penalty save to keep Poland tied in a group torn apart by Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina.

Costa Rica just conceded five goals against Spain. No, wait, six. Oh seven. This is the end? Finally? Okay, let’s move on.

So the hopes of North America are pinned on… Canada? Against Belgium?

True. And the result here would not be the biggest shock of the Cup. And Canada’s presence in the Round of 16 is certainly a big possibility, especially after Croatia and Morocco fired dampened squibs in a goalless tie today.

It might be fun. Follow me, won’t you?

Written by khirou

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