Canada’s strong showing in World Cup debut earns praise in headlines around the globe
John Herdman’s team has put the world on notice.
Canada’s men’s national team has impressed soccer enthusiasts worldwide despite losing 1-0 to Belgium in their first FIFA World Cup Group F matchup Wednesday in Qatar.
The team led by Alphonso Davies, Atiba Hutchinson and Jonathan David did not play the role of the underdog and instead dominated action against the No. 2-ranked team in the world, sending shockwaves that reverberated around the globe.
Across the pond, BBC wrote that “Belgium laboured to victory in their opening World Cup game as they were pushed all the way by an outstanding effort from Canada.”
The British outlet noted that despite being ranked 39 places below Belgium, the Canadians – playing their first World Cup match in 36 years – matched them in all areas apart from the decisive strike by Michy Batshuayi.
La Dernière Heure and Les Sports – one of Belgium’s largest francophone newspapers – said the Red Devils were ‘saved’ by two officiating mistakes – a should-be penalty alongside a yellow card that should have been a red for defensive midfielder Amadou Onana. The publication recalled it had been a while since their national team had struggled like that, stating it was the Canadians that deserved to win.
Julien Laurens from ESPN said the North Americans “were the better team for most of the game” and “played attacking football with movement, intensity and passion, pushed by the noise and the support of the 10,000 Canadians inside the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.”
France’s Le Monde called the Belgians’ triumph “painful”, while Brazil’s G1 called it a “struggle”, highlighting Canada’s 21 shots against only nine for the team that knocked them out of the World Cup in 2018.
Spain’s Marca called goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’ performance “superb” in shutting down the “Canadian Revolution”. Argentina’s Ole wrote that Belgium was pressured during the whole match saying the “North American squad surprised with an offensive game.”