A debut with more doubts than certainties was the one that the Belgian team had, with a victory by the minimum over Canada, sowing some doubts in a team that is called to be a serious candidate in the World Cup.
The North American team surprised the Europeans with high pressure, complicating them on more than one occasion at the start, thanks to the work of men like Tajon Buchanan and Alphonso Davies.
In fact, the Bayern Munich winger had the first for his team in the 10 minutes, but he missed the penalty awarded by referee Janny Sikazwe, with a weak shot that was met with resistance by Thibaut Courtois.
Three minutes later the controversy began, when the Zambian referee did not whistle a clear violation by Jan Vertonghen on Buchanan, considering that the Canadian player was in a forward position, despite the fact that the ball that reached him came from a backward pass from Eden Hazard.
John Herdman’s pupils did not stop pressing and turned the rival goalkeeper into a figure. But the “red devils” did not give up and after a long pass from behind, Michy Batshuayi (43′) hit the ball with his left foot and made it 1-0.
The complement became much more dynamic, especially in the first passages, with the Americans maintaining the level of the first fraction and the Belgians trying to take advantage of the spaces left by the rival.
The clearest of the Europeans came in the 66th minute, when Kevin de Bruyne gave way for Batshuayi to convert his second staff, but Richie Laryea appeared at the right time to sweep. In return, Courtois prevented his goal from falling with a great save on Cyle Larin’s header (75′).
Despite the complications to prevail in the match, Belgium ended up with a victory that allows them to climb to the top of group F with three points, while Canada was last without units.
On Sunday, the cast of the Old Continent will try to change its image and maintain the path of victory by taking on Morocco. Those from Concacaf, on the other hand, will come out with everything to face Croatia and stay alive in the tournament.
Stadium: Ahmed bin Ali, Rayyan
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia).
BELGIUM: Thibaut Courtois; Leander Dendoncker, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen; Timothy Castagne, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans (Amadou Onana, 45′), Yannick Carrasco (Thomas Meunier, 45′); Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard (Leandro Trossard, 61′); Michy Batshuayi (Lois Openda, 78′). (DT: Roberto Martinez)
CANADA: Milan Borjan; Alistair Johnston, Steven Vitória, Kamal Miller; Richie Laryea (Sam Adekugbe, 74′), Atiba Hutchinson (Ismaël Koné, 58′), Stephen Eustáquio (Jonathan Osorio, 81′), Alphonso Davies; Tajon Buchanan (Liam Millar, 81′), Jonathan David, Junior Hoilett (Cyle Larin, 58′). (DT: John Herdmann)
GOALS: 43′ Batshuayi (BEL).
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