Belgium vs Canada: World Cup 2022 – live |  WC 2022

Belgium vs Canada: World Cup 2022 – live | WC 2022

Belgium vs Canada: World Cup 2022 – live |  WC 2022

Canada might have an argument with the referee here. That took forever to set up, and Davies had far too long to think about it. Courtois saves it rather easily. The rebound goes back to Davies but at an awkward angle.

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SAVED!”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 23 Nov 2022 19.19 GMT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 23 Nov 2022 18.10 GMT”},{“id”:”637e6ff18f08edd1a15205b7″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

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

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Yellow to Carrasco as well.

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Referee Janny Sikazwe of Zambia blows the whistle. He has plenty of experience but is also known for blowing the whistle too early in an international game. ““I think God told me to end the match,” he said. (Thanks, CTV, for noting this.)

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This team is apparently pretty good, even without Lukaku.

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The Red Devils also have three players who are definitely at the back – Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Leander Dendoncker – while others are kinda sorta defenders.

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Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, generational talents in almost any country, are in the attack with Fenerbahce’s Michy Batshuayi.

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One note: These guys aren’t young. Players over 30: Courtois (30), Vertonghen (35), Alderweireld (33), Witsel (31), Hazard (31), De Bruyne (31). Good luck dealing with 22-year-olds Davies and David.

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The 1️⃣1️⃣ Devils at the #WorldCup’s starting line. 🇧🇪 #SelectedbyPwC #BELCAN #DEVILTIME pic.twitter.com/uzUYslxC1r

— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) November 23, 2022

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Miller, Vitória and Johnston are the back line in what you could call a 3-4-3 or 5-2-3 or 5-4-3-2-1 or whatever.

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Davies plays farther back on the field for Bayern but plays in the attack for Canada along with David and Hoilett.

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

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

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HERE. WE. GO. 🍁#WeCAN pic.twitter.com/51Xit3yFJF

— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) November 23, 2022

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

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Mexico needed a penalty save to hold Poland to a draw in a group torn asunder by Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina.

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Costa Rica just gave up five goals to Spain. No, wait, six. Oops, seven. Is it over? Finally? OK, moving on.

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So the hopes of North America rest with … Canada? Against Belgium?

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Indeed they do. And a result here would not be the biggest shock of the Cup. And a Canadian presence in the round of 16 is certainly a strong possibility, especially after seeing Croatia and Morocco launch damp squibs in a scoreless draw today.

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🇲🇦 0-0 🇭🇷

Looks like less excitement early this morning than yesterday… pic.twitter.com/ZeINGI5JVN

— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) November 23, 2022

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This could be fun. Follow along with me, won’t you?

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Key events

18 minutes: Belgium finally get a minute of possession. It’s in their own half, but at least there’s a period to break the pressure. For now – the press forces a ball all the way back to Courtois.

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

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

Costa Rica had zero.

13 min: Cross! Not cleared! Shot blocked! Another shot! Offside call!

All this happens in the Belgian box.

Belgium dominated play for … the first possession of the game. It’s been all over Canada ever since.

The call, however, was not controversial…

PENALTY

A handball penalty is called against Belgium pic.twitter.com/ijm1n0RUPc

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 23, 2022

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PUNISH THE SAVINGS!

Canada may have an argument with the referee here. It took forever to set up and Davies had far too much time to think about it. Courtois saves it quite simply. The rebound goes back to Davies, but at an awkward angle.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is congratulated by his teammates after saving the penalty taken by Canada's Alphonso Davies.
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is congratulated by his teammates after saving the penalty taken by Canada’s Alphonso Davies. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

PUNISHMENT TO CANADA!

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

Yellow for Carrasco too.

VAR shows that Carrasco had his arm out, and the shot hit the arm. Oh dear…

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

8 minutes: The corner lands to Buchanan, whose side-half volley bends upwards and is caught by Courtois.

Is it handball? The referee is looking!

7 minutes: There’s a promising Canadian cross from Buchanan that gets a corner kick.

Canada has completed 45 of its first 69 passes in this game, the stats say.

5 minutes: So to recap so far – one shot each way (Canada’s shot was blocked). And a fierce felling of Tajon Buchanan. Ah, youth.

2 minutes: Canada bounces back with good possession in the attacking third. This is a frantic start.

1 minute: Turnover, Belgian shot from long range, easily saved.

Kickoff

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

The players and referees take to the pitch.
The players and referees take to the pitch. Photo: Molly Darlington/Reuters

OK, one more…

Richard Hirst 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 supporter) – not a bad line-up.”

I’m not Canadian. At least not yet. But I’m a big Rush fan. And I love Kids in the Hall. And the healthcare system. And Sarah McLachlan. And I had a great time covering the Olympics in Whistler… OK, that’s it, I’m moving.

Wait… is it cold?

Last preliminary…

Peter Oh says this game is a perfect “brunch menu”: “I don’t have a horse in this race, but I like Belgian waffles and maple syrup. Hot coffee is boiling and the sun is shining on a crisp, cold Northern California morning. Life could be worse!”

Ted Storer at CONCACAF: “You know this better than most. CONCACAF always seems to have a team in the World Cup finals that are just happy to have qualified (El Salvador – 1982, Jamaica –1998, Honduras – every time, Trinidad and Tobago – 2002, Panama – 2018, etc.). I really hope Costa Rica make the team for 2022 – after finishing fourth in the regional qualifiers and defeating New Zealand by a single goal in the Confederation Play-ins. Really, really, really hope it’s not the US – or Mexico – or Canada.”

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

39-year-old Atiba Hutchinson starts for Canada today.

🇨🇦 He's the 2nd-oldest outfield player in a men's World Cup game (Roger Milla, 42) & the oldest starter.

🇨🇦 Of the 26 on Canada's roster, he's the only one who was alive when Canada's men last played in the WC (1986).

— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) November 23, 2022

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39-year-old Atiba Hutchinson starts for Canada today.

🇨🇦 He is the second oldest outfielder in a men’s World Cup match (Roger Milla, 42) and the oldest starter.

🇨🇦 Of the 26 on Canada’s roster, he is the only one who was alive when Canada’s men last played in the World Cup (1986).

— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) 23 November 2022

The Canadian anthem was met with great enthusiasm. Definitely a lot of Canadian fans there. And the players, along with Herdman, sang loudly. Not on key by any stretch of the imagination, but they gave it a try.

Belgian lineup

This team is apparently pretty good, even without Lukaku.

The Red Devils also have three players who are definitely at the back – Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Leander Dendoncker – while others are sort of defenders.

Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, generational talents in almost every country, are in 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 with the 22-year-olds Davies and David.

The 1️⃣1️⃣ Devils at the #WorldCup’s starting line. 🇧🇪 #SelectedbyPwC #BELCAN #DEVILTIME pic.twitter.com/uzUYslxC1r

— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) November 23, 2022

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Canadian lineup

Miller, Vitória and Johnston are the back line in what you might call a 3-4-3 or 5-2-3 or 5-4-3-2-1 or whatever.

Davies plays further back on the pitch for Bayern, but plays in attack for Canada alongside David and Hoilett.

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

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

HERE. WE. GO. 🍁#WeCAN pic.twitter.com/51Xit3yFJF

— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) November 23, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/CanadaSoccerEN/status/1595474114038333440″,”id”:”1595474114038333440″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”8f56fd2a-6c9f-494f-b529-daeea28bd995″}}”/>

The Canadian conductor…

John Herdman’s teams routinely beat the odds.

He led the New Zealand women to their first World Cup point. (Name-dropping: I was there. I used to do interesting things.)

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

He led Canada’s men to a resounding march through CONCACAF qualifying.

In this case, he’s helped a bit of a resurgence in Canadian talent, fueled a bit by people starting to take soccer development seriously and intelligently. The long-term player development model emphasizes development over winning, including a mildly controversial principle of not retaining the league table for under-12 players.

John Herdman shows off his skills in a training session in Qatar.
John Herdman shows off his skills in a training session in Qatar. Photo: Nathan Denette/AP

Are Canadians more “American” than the US?

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

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

  • Players who spent most of their childhood elsewhere but qualified for Canada (Stephen Eustáquio, Steven Vitória)

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

Then add several players who came up through the MLS academies, including prodigy Davies, who moved from Vancouver to Bayern Munich in 2018.

Alphonso Davies in action for Bayern Munich.
Alphonso Davies in action for Bayern Munich. Photo: Heiko Becker/Reuters

Canada’s record: Poor

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

In CONCACAF qualifying, they are usually beaten by Central American opponents, and rarely make it to the final round.

This time?

They won the last round.

And that’s after losing two of their last three, after taking their feet off the gas pedals after a torrid run where they went away to mighty Mexico and the United States and beat those teams, along with almost everyone else, on their home turf.

Canada 2, Japan 1

Did it catch your attention? Hope it.

That was the result last week when Canada faced Japan last week without two of its best players, Alphonso Davies and Stephen Eustáquio.

Yes, it’s the same Japanese team that beat Germany 2-1 today.

It is not a stroke of luck. Time to explain why…

Canada's Lucas Cavallini celebrates after scoring a penalty kick against Japan.
Canada’s Lucas Cavallini celebrates after scoring a penalty kick against Japan. Photo: Christopher Pike/AP

Introduction

The USA drew Wales 1-1 and have slim chances to advance.

Mexico needed a penalty save to hold Poland to a draw in a group torn apart by Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina.

Costa Rica just conceded five goals to Spain. No, wait, six. Oops, seven. Is it over? Finally? OK, go ahead.

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

They actually do. And a result here would not be the cup’s biggest shock. And a Canadian presence in the round of 16 is certainly a strong possibility, especially after watching Croatia and Morocco launch damp squibs in a scoreless draw today.

🇲🇦 0-0 🇭🇷

Looks like less excitement early this morning than yesterday… pic.twitter.com/ZeINGI5JVN

— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) November 23, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/PaulCarr/status/1595426983818989568″,”id”:”1595426983818989568″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”1a5d66cc-ecd7-4b67-a215-99a4145ee18f”}}”/>

This could be fun. Follow me, won’t you?

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