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FIFA World Cup PIX: Below par Belgium down Canada

Last updated on: November 24, 2022 03:02 IST
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IMAGES from the FIFA World Cup Group F match played between Belgium and Canada on Wednesday.

Belgium's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their first goal

IMAGE: Belgium's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their first goal. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Michy Batshuayi scored in the first half and Thibaut Courtois saved a penalty as Belgium opened their World Cup campaign on Wednesday with a scrappy 1-0 win over an energetic Canada who were back in the finals for first time in 36 years.

Leading the Belgian attack in the absence of injured talisman Romelu Lukaku, Batshuayi scored against the run of play on the stroke of halftime to put the Red Devils top of Group F ahead of Morocco and Croatia who earlier drew 0-0.

 

Belgium's Thibaut Courtois saves the penalty taken by Canada's Alphonso Davies

IMAGE: Belgium's Thibaut Courtois saves the penalty taken by Canada's Alphonso Davies. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

In their only other World Cup appearance in Mexico in 1986, Canada lost all three matches and failed to score a goal.

They looked as if they would register their long awaited first goal when Belgium's Yannick Carrasco handled the ball in the 11th minute and Alphonso Davies stepped up to take the penalty with the Canadian supporters roaring.

But Courtois, one of the world's best goalkeepers, denied Davies an historic score by stopping his weak spot-kick.

Belgium's Eden Hazard battles for possession with Canada's Alistair Johnston

IMAGE: Belgium's Eden Hazard battles for possession with Canada's Alistair Johnston. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

The Canadian attack continued to press, their speed creating havoc in the Belgian defence and keeping Courtois busy throughout the first half.

But against the run of play Belgium took the lead when Batshuayi broke between two defenders, ran on to a long ball and shot past goalkeeper Milan Borjan in the 44th minute.

Belgium's Thomas Meunier and Canada's Liam Millar battle for the ball

IMAGE: Belgium's Thomas Meunier and Canada's Liam Millar battle for the ball. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Canada coach John Herdman said his men would bring a nothing to lose approach to their opening game against the second-ranked Belgians who arrived in Qatar saddled with the burden of expectation.

Third-place finishers at the 2018 finals in Russia, Red Devils supporters want more this time from the star-studded roster that has been dubbed the "Golden Generation".

Belgium's Lois Openda reacts after being tackled by Canada'sAlistair Johnston

IMAGE: Belgium's Lois Openda reacts after being tackled by Canada'sAlistair Johnston. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Canada, who surprised by finishing top of the CONCACAF qualifying group ahead of traditional regional powerhouses Mexico and the United States, represented a potentially tricky opener for Roberto Martinez’s side and proved to be just that.

The second half was more even with both sides generating chances but unable to score.

 

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Source: REUTERS
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FIFA WORLD CUP 2022

FIFA WORLD CUP 2022