Canada rues missed opportunities in 1-0 loss to Belgium in World Cup opener
Canada was punished for missing chances during its opening World Cup on Wednesday as Michy Batshuayi scored to give Belgium a 1-0 win.
The game was a lively encounter in the first half and Canada had the best opportunity to strike first following a handball. But Alphonso Davies, who has been out of action since Nov. 5 due to injury, stepped up only to see the attempt saved by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Despite the scuff, Canada stayed very involved in the match, with second-ranked Belgium the side forced to sit back. John Herdman's men registered 14 shots compared to four for Belgium during the opening 45 minutes.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard were surprisingly quiet, but just before the break, Belgium snapped the deadlock through Batshuayi.
The second half was a nervy contest as both sides pushed for the next goal. Canada, again, looked the hungrier of the two teams but struggled to beat Courtois. Substitute Cyle Larin, in particular, saw a handful of opportunites fall short with roughly 10 mintues to go.
Belgium did have chances to double its lead only for last-minute defending from the Canadians to prevent it from finding the back of the net again.
In the end, fatigue played a role and the first-half goal from Belgium was enough to decide the game.
As it stands in Group F, Belgium is top with three points, Croatia and Morocco have one and Canada is bottom, with zero.
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