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Belgium triumphed against the run of play on Wednesday against Canada. The Red Devils take the lead ahead of Croatia and Morocco, which they face on Sunday.
It is far from the flamboyant Belgian team which failed in the semi-final against the future French world champion in 2018. Facing Canada, which is celebrating its second participation in the World Cup, the Red Devils came close to disaster. But their individualities allowed them to win on Wednesday, November 23, to take the lead in group F, ahead of Morocco and Croatia who drew earlier in the day.
The Belgians had however started with the best intentions in the world. From the first moments, Michy Batshuayi completes the warm-up of Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan by taking advantage of a lost Canadian ball to attempt a shot from 30 meters (2e).
A missed penalty for Canada
But, once this inspiration has passed, Belgium will retreat and be suffocated by the ardor and tactical mastery of the Canucks. Skillfully blocking pass circuits with high pressing, the Canadians prevented the Red Devils from bringing the ball out cleanly and threw themselves at the slightest opportunity. Jonathan David fires the first round. Country. (7e).
On a corner, Carrasco stops the Canadian shot attempt with the left hand. The referee does not whistle at first, but watching the video makes him change his decision. However, Alphonso Davies stumbles on an impeccable Thibaut Courtois (10e). The punishment is not far away for the Belgians.
If the bays of the Ahmed ben Ali stadium are far from being filled, they still have large contingents of Red Devils and Canucks fans. And, as on the ground, it is the latter who stand out the most with a great deal of chanting, applause and other pounding of the feet which make the only stadium which was not built especially for the competition tremble.
And inevitably, with such support, Canadians are motivated. Jonathan David multiplies the attempts, while his wingers Buchanan and Davies take advantage of the absence of opposing players in the corridors to multiply the incursions. At halftime, the Canadians had already shot 14 times.
Belgium scores against the run of play
However, Belgium can rest on their individualities, in particular Eden Hazard and Kévin De Bruyne. Against the run of play, she takes advantage of an absence of the Canadian defense to open the scoring. Alderweireld finds Batshuayi in the depths. The flat foot of the Belgian is impeccable to deceive Borjan (44e, 1.0). A goal that wakes up the Belgians in the stands for a few minutes.
Cruel for Canada, which does not admit defeat. Upon returning from the locker room, the Canucks return to attack Belgium, however, showing themselves to be less incisive. The Belgians proceed by counter-attacks, but without their master to play Hazard, who leaves his place. De Bruyne leaves alone and looks for Batshuayi but Miller makes a magnificent sliding tackle (66e).
Belgium dug in their last 35 meters for the end of the game and Canada pushed to come back. Down the right side, Johnston lands a cross to Larin’s head. But the ball lacks power and Courtois is vigilant (77e). He stays until the end.
For Belgium, the essential is safe: the first match is won. She even makes a good deal with the draw between Croatia and Morocco, which she will face on Sunday. As for Canada, the most deserving tonight, their first World Cup victory will still wait.
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