Canadian men push Belgium to the limit but lose 1-0 in return to World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Canada put on a show in its return to the World Cup after a 36-year absence but failed to convert its chances in a valiant 1-0 loss to Belgium.

Canada had a glorious chance to score its first-ever World Cup goal and take the lead in the 10th minute, only to see Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois stop Alphonso Davies' penalty attempt after Yannick Carrasco was yellow-carded for handball.

Michy Batshuayi quietened the pro-Canada crowd in the 44th minute, bringing down a long ball that Canadian Steven Vitoria just missed getting his foot to.

Batshuayi outpaced the chasing Kamal Miller and Richie Laryea and calmly beat Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan for a 1-0 lead.

Borjan punched the ball away in disgust.

Canada next faces Croatia on Sunday.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2022.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press