Canada played better, dazzled the spectators of Ahmad bin Ali with his idea, cheerful and daring, without fear of the entity of the rival, but paid the hazing in his debut at the World Cup in Qatar, the second in its history after Mexico '86 , and lost to a gray and effective Belgium that won with a goal from Batshuayi on the stroke of halftime.
The two teams came out with the same drawing, with three center backs and two wingers, although only the Canadians imposed their speed on the wings, especially an omnipresent Alphonso Davies. However, the Bayern winger missed his team's clearest chance, a penalty in the 10th minute at the hands of Carrasco that Courtois deflected. Janny Sikazwe, the referee of the match and the same one who whistled the end in the 85th minute of an Africa Cup match between Mali and Tunisia, used VAR to signal the maximum penalty.
The error from eleven meters did not change the script for the Americans, who pressed up and went vertically as soon as they could with Jonathan David as the spearhead against a faltering rival defense, too slow. Dendoncker, Alderweireld and Vertonghen suffered every time they had to serve the ball before the vigor of the forwards, who severed the connection between the defense and a Belgian midfield with a lot of talent and very little presence. Neither Witsel, nor Tielemans, nor De Bruyne were able to take possession of the ball.
The 'red devils', without the injured Lukaku, did not leave their field, unable to connect with a missing Hazard and a De Bruyne who only appeared in transitions. Those of Herdman lived in the rival area, but they did not add clear chances, just a shot from Johnston. Quite the opposite in the Belgian team, which was enough for a long pass from Alderweireld, poorly defended by the Canadians, and a shot from Batshuayi to decide the duel.
After the break, the imprecise avalanche of a Canada with good manners followed, as in the qualifying phase, which has not yet scored in a World Cup. David and Larin tested it head-on against a Belgium paid to counterattack that will have to improve to continue being the eternal candidate.
Belgium: Courtois; Castagne, Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Carrasco (Meunier, m.46); Witsel, Tielemans (Onana, m.46); De Bruyne, Batshuayi (Openda, m.78) and Hazard (Trossard, m.62).
Canada: Borjan; Laryea (Adekugbe, m.73), Johnston, Vitória, Miller, Davies; Buchanan (Millar, m.81), Hutchinson (Koné, m.58), Eustaquio (Osorio, 81), Hoilett (Larin, m.58); and Jonathan David.
Goal: 1-0, m.44: Batshuayi.
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia). Admonished Carrasco (m.9), Meunier (m.53) and Onana (m.56), of Belgium. In Canada they saw yellow Alphonso Davies (m.82) and Johnston (m.83).
Incidents: Match corresponding to the first day of group F of the Qatar 2022 World Cup played at the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium before 40,432 spectators, according to the official figure provided during the match.