He won the bronze medal at the last World Championships on Wednesday Belgians were finally able to present themselves in Qatar, Kevin De Bruyne’s “golden generation” is probably preparing for its last big throw.
Canada he could even be happy that he could finally be there at a mundial, since the national team reached the final tournament for the first time since 1986, and for the second time in its history – and extremely confidently. At home, it beat Mexico and the United States (in fact, everyone except for the 1-1 draw against Honduras, which finished last), and as a guest, it played against both great rivals, thus qualifying for Qatar in first place despite the defeat suffered in the last round in Panama.
Accordingly, the paper form predicted smooth European success, in our order of strength the Belgians overtook Portugal in a big battle for 7th place, Alphonso Davies flew up to 23rd position.
Well, that’s what overseas people didn’t care about for a moment!
Although the first opportunity came in front of the Belgians in the composition of Courtois – Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen – Castagne, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco – Tielemans, Batshuayi, E. Hazard through Michy Batshuayi (the goalkeeper saved easily), after that the Canadian soccer player could rampage an audience that already indicated during the anthems that they are waiting with open arms for the battle against one of the contenders.
The opportunities came one after the other, and although Yannick Carrasco’s block seemed to help, Canada was awarded a penalty for handling! Another question is that Davies’ shot to the bottom right was brilliantly saved by Thibaut Courtois.
This didn’t deter the enthusiastic team either, Jonathan David, Tajon Buchanan and Junior Hoilett also got into position quickly, and after the first quarter of an hour the number of shots was 1-8!
This woke up the Belgians a bit, and although De Bruyne uncharacteristically made a long pass instead of a kick, Batshuayi’s shot had to be blocked by the defenders for a corner.
That was the resurrection, the overseas players came again, Alistair Johnston’s shot had to be parried by Courtois, David was blocked, and then, apart from his mistake, who played sensationally Davies put an end to Tielemans’ career, using the formulaic formulation of my colleague Ádám Antalics – he laid down the Belgian midfielder so badly that even the international commentators just laughed at the incident!
Gallery: Belgium-Canada 23.11.2022.Photo: Anp / Getty Images Hungary
At the beginning of the half, despite video footage, the Canadian team did not receive another penalty – but they did score one goal, practically out of nowhere: Toby Alderweireld’s ball was missed by the defenders, Batshuayi and he shot in the upper left from a bounce (1-0).
The inning brought two more Canadian chances, the number of shots was 4-14, but the European team still had the advantage…
Even after the turn, the “maple-leaved team” remained more active, Stephen Eustaquio was in his element, first David headed his pass close to him, and then he himself shot from a distance to the lower right side.
There were free kicks, corners, crosses, without really a chance, and after more than an hour of play, Buchanan got a shot – it would have been good for a field goal, but that’s a different sport.
Not long after, Richie Laryea fired just wide of the left side of the goal, but at that time De Bruyne also flashed on a counter, and huge saves were needed to prevent the Belgians from increasing their advantage.
In the beginning, substitute goal scorer Cyle Larin came three times close to scoring his 26th goal for the national team, David also tried with honor, but nothing came together for the Canadians on this day.
In the end, De Bruyne even came close to the second Belgian goal, but it didn’t happen either, so the most recent bronze medalist won 1-0.
In the end, the guard scored 21 shots against one of the best teams in the World Cup, and with this game, they surely won the hearts of many of us.
SOCCER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
GROUP F, ROUND 1
Belgium-Canada 1-0 (Batshuayi 44.)
In the other game of the group
Don’t miss anything, browse Index’s world championship supplement! Click here to access all our articles, schedules, group positions, frames, venues and more.
(Cover image: Stefan Matzke – sampics / Corbis / Getty Images)