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Maple Leafs and Terrified Devils — A Match Report of Canada against Belgium

In a World Cup that has courted considerable controversy from the outset, few would have believed that events unfolding on the pitch could stir any sort of shock value, particularly a mere four days into proceedings. However, with just twelve games gone, a handful of pre-tournament favourites have already been severely humbled. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia dispatched Lionel Messi’s Argentina in arguably one of the greatest upsets in recent international footballing history, a day later, the Japanese defeated the Germans in a pulsating tie in Doha, hours after Morocco pushed Croatia all the way in tightly-contested 0-0 draw. Next, it was Canada’s turn to dream, as they lined up against a Belgian side boasting a plethora of household names.

Photograph: Nick Potts/PA (Source: Guardian)

For a painful 36-year period, World Cup qualification had evaded Les Rouges. Indeed, Canada’s participation in Qatar represents their first appearance at FIFA’s international showpiece competition since a disastrous outing at Mexico ’86, a campaign that returned exactly zero points and zero goals.

If entry into this year’s tournament symbolizes the dawning of a new era in Canadian football, then perhaps the opposite can be said of Belgium, with many suggesting the sun is gradually setting on their so-called “golden generation” of talents—although this cliché feels a little stretched given the Red Devils will still have the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, and Romelu Lukaku in their ranks come North America’s staging of the World Cup in 2026. 

True, the narrative of a maverick young upstart, lacking fear or the weight of expectation, punching up to a wily old competitor labouring under the tag of classic underachievers, is a description befitting of the ninety minutes we saw in Al-Rayyan on Wednesday night. From the off, the Canadians pressed aggressively, forced the game into the Belgian final third, and most importantly, carried a…


Source link : https://www.footballparadise.com/maple-leafs-and-terrified-devils-a-match-report-of-canada-against-belgium/

Author : Ryan Murray

Publish date : 2022-11-24 20:30:58

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