Belgium struggles to overcome their debut against Canada
Batshuayi gave victory to Roberto Martínez’s men, a tough debut for the Belgians and in which Courtois saved a penalty
MADRID, November 23 (.) –
Belgium beat Canada (1-0) this Wednesday in the second match of Group F of the World Cup in Qatar, thanks to Batshuayi’s solitary goal, in a game that was not very attractive for the Belgians, who began their World Cup adventure with victory, a last chance of his golden generation, before some Canadians who were about to surprise.
Roberto Martínez’s men were not able to find their game throughout the first half, but a spark from Batshuayi was enough to subdue the North Americans and maintain their lead until the end. Eden Hazard started, but the ineffectiveness of the Real Madrid number 7 in the Belgian attack made him go unnoticed in a match in which his teammate, Thibaut Courtois, was the best.
The Canadians were on the verge of making history by scoring their country’s first goal in a World Cup, but the Belgian goalkeeper asserted himself under the sticks and saved Alphonso Davies’s penalty. The North American team had the best chances but their ineffectiveness in front of goal ended up tipping the balance in favor of the Belgians. Martínez’s men become leaders, after the tie between Croatia and Morocco (0-0), in the other Group F match.
The Áhmad bin Ali Stadium hosted a game that began very lively, with John Herdman’s men creating danger and offering high pressure in the rival field. That initial momentum from the Canadians almost found the prize of the goal, but Courtois became strong under the sticks. The Bayern Munich player failed to hit from eleven meters after the VAR warned the referee of a handball from Yannick Carrasco in the area.
The North American team kept trying, coming to put Roberto Martínez’s team in serious trouble. The offensive presence of his wingers, with Davies at the helm, was key to highlighting the shortcomings of a Belgian defense that had a very difficult time stopping the rival insistence. However, when the Canadians were playing their best, a long pass from Vertonghen helped Batshuayi to put his team ahead on the scoreboard.
The direct football applied by the ‘Diables Rouges’ was enough to send Roberto Martínez’s men to changing rooms with an advantage on the scoreboard. However, the Spanish coach, dissatisfied with his team’s performance, wanted to give his team a facelift, giving Onana and Meunier a half-time replacement for Tielemans and Carrasco. A breath of fresh air for the Belgians, who even so did not completely allay their doubts.
The quality of Kevin de Bruyne proved effective in controlling the midfield, from where the Belgians were able to hold off the Canadian attacks. The man from Manchester City began to show his quality and, although he was slow to enter the game, he took the lead in the second half. However, Canada did not turn the face of the game and although they found a sensational Courtois under the sticks, they finished the game by pressing in the rival field and leaving the feeling of deserving a draw.
–RESULT: BELGIUM, 1 – CANADA, 0 (1-0, at halftime).
BELGIUM: Courtois, Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Castagne, Witsel, Tielemans (Onana, min.46), Carrasco (Meunier, min.46), De Bruyne, Hazard (Trossard, min.62) and Batshuayi (Openda, min. 78).
CANADA: Borjan, Buchanan (Millar, min.81), Johnston, Vitoria, Miller, Hutchinson (Kone, min.58), Eustaquio (Osorio, min.81), Davies, Hoilett (Larin, min.58), Laryea ( Adekugbe, min.74) and David.
1-0, min.44, Batshuayi.
–REFEREE: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM). He admonished Meunier (Min.53) and Onana (min.56) by Belgium. And Davies (min.81) and Johnston (min.83) from Canada.
–STADIUM: Ahmad bin Ali.