This made gaudy Belgium and her golden generation look aging for a possible reason why gaudy Belgium and her golden generation might be aging. The presence of a new opponent full of hardened fighters has made Belgium look like they’ve been living in the smoke of quarter-final and semi-final performances at the last two World Cups. At times it seemed to creak a little on the cool, clear night, even if 40,432 in the Ahmed bin Ali stadium might drown out the sound. Manchester City star Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, 31, said with a sullen tone after: “No, I don’t think I played a great game. No, I don’t know why I have the (Man of the Match) trophy.”
He said that his team left the field too spacious, as manager Roberto Martínez said, “We made the field too big.”
All this led to the technically defeated manager, John Herdman from Canada, getting together with his team, overflowing with passion, and saying: “You have shown that you can live here!” True what. Herdman later said, “I’m proud of the guys. The effort was unreal… And if we can be merciless in attack, then we will get something from these matches. This group is wide open. He jokingly recommended “four days of shooting” ahead.
The first question to Martinez, who has been Belgium manager since 2016, was whether it was really the worst big game of his entire Belgian career.
“Technically we were the worst game? Yes, he said.
“Was it the worst game ever? No,” he said, because victory eliminates that distinction.
To clarify, Belgium opened Group F with a win and came out on top in a group that also includes Croatia and Morocco, who drew 0-0 because they didn’t give up their know-how. “Winning when you don’t play very well is not accidental,” Martinez said. Belgium benefitted from Canada’s festival of daring claims adorned with misfires and then caught the only game it would eventually need.
It happened in the 43rd minute when Toby Alderweireld, a 33-year-old player in his 125th cap, sent a long and beautiful thing forward down the field, maybe 60 yards, and hit where it could be useful. There, Michy Batshuayi, the 29-year-old often referred to as the “batsman”, didn’t so much chase him down as he figured him out, rushed to the box and quickly took him at the start of the second jump with defenders Richie Larie and Kamal Miller. breathing on it and then quickly punching it into the right rear corner of the gate.
Injustice filled the air.
Canada, with its flamboyant 21-year-old phenom Alphonso Davis looking healed from a hamstring injury and powered by electricity, must have looked very different from what only 14,200 spectators saw on June 9, 1986 in Irapuato, Mexico. On that day, in their previous World Cup match, the Canadians ended their stay losing 2-0 to, yes, the Soviet Union, and they left that World Cup without a win or a goal.
They are still aiming for that first goal and you have to think they will get it here and they almost got it in single digit minutes. That’s when Tajon Buchanan shot from the crowd in the box and the legendary 30-year-old goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois intercepted him, but a VAR view showed that it was served by the Belgian Yannick Carrasco, and suddenly Canada scored a penalty around the 9th minute. , even though it took the referee about half way to whistle.
Davis took it and moved it to the left just as Courtois lunged to the right to meet him, pushing him back into the box where Davis sort of hit him again but missed a sub-optimal chance. At the same time, Courtois jumped all busty, like some kind of pharaoh of the gate, and teammates surrounded him with admiration and gratitude.
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Then his team slowly moved on. “You have to give credit to Canada,” Martinez said. “We knew they were so dynamic, so aggressive.” He called them a “modern team” where “everyone defends” and “everyone attacks”. He also mentioned the unusual timing of this 22nd World Cup with limited time for a team reunion and said, “Today is our fifth day together. You see that the format was supposed to be about the growth of the national teams in the group stages. If you can win by doing this, it will be an incredible opportunity.”
However, before Belgium could enter its next few days of “self-criticism and analysis,” as Martinez puts it, Canada kept up, moving to a 19-6 lead on shots. The shots went past on the right. The blows missed the left. Most of the shots missed the goal. Courtois dived to the right and, in the 79th minute, saved a header from Sail Larin after an accurate cross from Alistair Johnston. Davies recovered remarkably well from the penalty and earned Herdman’s praise as “brilliant tonight” and “much more disciplined” while demonstrating “courage” and “stamina”. All of this and more went on throughout the first half and most of the second, until it all became a funny reminder that life isn’t fair.
World Cup in Qatar.
Live updates: On Wednesday, European powers take the stage in Qatar as World Cup group play continues. Stay tuned for the latest news, updates and highlights.
USMNT: On their return to the World Cup, the young Americans agreed to a 1-1 draw with Wales in the opening Group B match. The US men’s team will face a bigger challenge on Friday against Group B favorites England, who thrashed Iran 6-2 earlier on Monday.
Qatari dispute: Football fans wearing the rainbow, a symbol of LGBTQ inclusiveness, said they were denied entry to World Cup stadiums and demanded by members of the public to remove the emblem.
Group Guide: The U.S. men’s soccer team, led by coach Gregg Berhalter and star forward Christian Pulisic, qualified for the 2022 World Cup, an improvement over the failed and unsuccessful 2018 campaign. Here’s a detailed look at how all the teams in each group stack up.