CANADA IS DOWN BUT NOT OUT

2022-11-26 · 2 min read · FIFA World Cup/Soccer
National Football Team Canada

The Canadian Press | UEFA

Canada’s defeat by No. 2-ranked Belgium was no soft surrender. The better team lost. Belgium beat Canada 1-0 on Wednesday in this country’s first men’s World Cup appearance in 36 years. But what a loss. This was no gentle surrender. The Canadians put in a come-out-swinging-and-go-down-the-same-way sort of effort.
Belgium is the No. 2 ranked team in the world. Canada hasn’t played a side of this quality in nearly 20 years. However, for lengthy spells of Wednesday’s game, Canada made a star-studded Belgian team look average.
From the outset, Canada came at the Belgians from multiple angles and in numbers. Alphonso Davies and the millions cheering them on thought the wait for a World Cup goal may be finally over in the ninth minute. Tajon Buchanan whipped a shot in the Belgian box. Yannick Carrasco left a hand dangling. The ball connected with it. Penalty. Canada’s star, Alphonso Davies, does not typically take penalties. But he wanted a chance at the big one. Davies was left standing over the ball for what seemed like an hour as the referee got himself organized. Then he took a feeble shot that was saved. Still, there were plenty of other chances. Canada took 14 shots in the first half. That’s not a lot. It’s an absolute ton. Belgium had two.
In a moment of pause near the end of the first half, Toby Alderweireld stroked a ball 60 yards up the field. It went over and through the middle of the Canadian defence and into the path of his sprinting teammate, Michy Batshuayi. It was a pretty goal, and one that no top-class team should ever allow. In the second half, Belgium was forced to resupply their lineup. It spent a lot of that second period backing up as well. But all of Canada’s victories on the night were moral.
Next up for Canada: Croatia. Here are some of my best bets heading into Sunday’s must-win game for the red and white.
Jonathan David over 2.5 shots (+120)
David recorded seven shot attempts against Belgium on Wednesday, but zero found the net. That certainly wasn’t ideal for Canada but would have been more than enough to cash this prop. David is -175 to record a shot on target but we feel more comfortable backing him to unleash at least three attempts against the Croatians on Sunday.
Davies over 0.5 fouls conceded (-115)
Davies committed three fouls against Belgium, and he should pick up at least one against Croatia. Playing in wingback role, Davies is expected to make his way up and down the field frequently. That opens the possibility for a foul on either end of the pitch. Davies did receive a yellow on Wednesday, which means he won’t be making reckless challenges.
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By: Aaron Cantin

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