Canada kicked off their first World Cup campaign since 1986 with a 1-0 loss against Belgium, as a goal from Michy Batshuayi sealed the three points for the European nation.
The North American side qualified to the tournament after concluding the Concacaf cycle in first place with 28 points in 14 games, edging out Mexico and the United States. Despite years of preparation for this match, John Herdman’s side failed to concretize in the final third.
The Concacaf side saw their first real shot at goal in the 10th minute of the game.
They were on the brink of history, as a hand ball by Belgium inside the box awarded the Concacaf nation a penalty. Alphonso Davies stepped up to convert the opportunity into Canada’s first ever World Cup goal, having fired blanks in every game back in 1986, but the Bayern Munich player sent the ball to the left for Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to save.
Another foul inside Belgium’s box led Canadian players to plead for a penalty, but the referee rejected the call.
Canada continued to lead offensively, but Courtois denied all opportunities.
The second half saw Canada continue to force Belgium into dangerous situations, but the Concacaf team simply could not convert any opportunity into the equalizer.
Canada now sit in last place of the Group F standings with zero points, as Belgium leads with three, and Croatia and Morocco both tied for second with one. They face Croatia on Sunday, November 27 before concluding the group stage against Morocco on December 1.