UMM ŞALĀL ‘ALĪ, Qatar – Canada wasted little time on Sunday to end their men’s World Cup scoring shortfall with a goal from Alphonso Davies.
Croatia, 12th in the world rankings and second only to France in Russia four years ago, are brimming with top club talent and their class has recovered from an early 0-1 deficit. .
Two goals from Andrej Kramaric and one from Marko Livaja contributed to Croatia’s comeback. Lobro Magger added an injury time goal in the 94th minute in a 2–1 attack.
The 41st-ranked Canadian got off to a strong start with a goal kick from Milan Boljan who found Cyle Larin in midfield. Larin deftly controlled the ball with his feet and sent it to Tajon Buchanan on the right. Buchanan surged forward, took two touches, sent a cross with his head up, and Davis soared over full-back Josip Juranovic before heading home past goalkeeper Dominik Libakovic.
Tuck Tuck’s goal came just 67 seconds into the match. But it was actually on his 36-year run that he deserved Canada’s first ever goal in his showcase of men’s football. Davis’ teammate hit his 22-year-old Davis from Edmonton with his flag in the corner and the whole country celebrated.
It may be a little too early.
It was Davis’ 13th goal for Canada and his first header in 36 appearances. And that no doubt helped make up for a penalty in his 1-0 opener loss to second-placed Belgium.
However, Croatia regained their composure and used their precision to dominate midfield and begin to open up the Canadian defense.
But for a while there were Canadians in the crowd of 44,374, chanting “This is our home” after Davis’ goal, and it was all Canadian.
Davis felt it, nutmegging Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic in the 22nd minute when the Canadian hit the ball on the immaculate pitch of the Khalifa International Stadium.
Then the tide turned.
Kramaric equalized in the 36th minute after receiving a pass from Ivan Perisic that went past Alistair Johnston’s leg. The Hoffenheim forward calmly defeated Borjan with a left-footed shot into the corner of the goal from a sharp angle.
Mateo Kovacic scored the goal, clearing Steven Ustacchio for a pass to Perisic.
Libaya gave Croatia the lead in the 44th minute after Đuranovic’s slash run cut through the Canadian defense. The Croatian right-back beat Davies and started the run, luckily ricocheting in traffic before putting the ball between Steven Vitria’s legs and firing it into Libaya.
Kramarić made it 3-1 in the 70th minute, elegantly keeping the ball away from Kamal Miller and leaving room for Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson’s feet for a left-footed shot. Tottenham’s Perisic was once again the provider.
Croatian fans sang while Canadians watched silently.
The Canadian entered the contest — the first-ever meeting between the two nations — and needed at least a point to keep hopes of advancing out of the group stage, which coach John Herdman called “a game of death or death.” I call it ”one.”
Croatia also needed a result after drawing Morocco 0-0 in the opener.
The Canadian is due to return home after completing a tournament match against Morocco on Thursday. they want to win.
The Canadian section in the stands sang the lyrics and the stadium echoed with “Oh Canada.” And Davis quickly turned the volume up.
Croatia, who drew 1-0, thought they had leveled with Kramaric’s goal in the 26th minute, but they were flagged for offside and moved to build up. Borjan then got in the way of Ribaja’s shot.
Croatia beat Canada 5-1 in the first half (4-1 shots on target).
Hardman dispatched Jonathan Osorio and Ismael Kone to start the second half, replacing Larin and Eustaquio, who knocked in the first half. Davis left midfield to join Jonathan David up front.
Osorio hit a curling shot a few minutes later that beat the keeper but flashed wide.
Junior Hoilet was sent to add to the Canadian offense and the defense shifted to the Bucksley. Then came burly forward Lucas Cavallini as Hardman rolled the dice.
Hutchinson made his 100th appearance for Canada.
The 39-year-old from Brampton, Ontario, is the oldest outfield player in the tournament and the second oldest to appear in a World Cup final after Cameroon’s Roger Milla (42 years, 29 days in 1994). The veteran midfielder made his senior debut for Canada in January 2003.
Hutchinson, who captains Besiktas in Turkey, stuffed his nose with cotton wool to stop the bleeding in the second half and took a lump out during the match.
Hutchinson holds the record for Canadian men’s caps, while Christine Sinclair is Canada’s all-time leader in national team appearances with 319.
Canada went winless in their last 13 games against UEFA opponents (0-8-5) since their 1-0 victory over Belarus in March 2011.
Croatia, on the other hand, came into the match with just one loss (11-1-5) in their last 17 matches. The Croat suffered her 3-0 loss to Austria in his UEFA Nations League in June, but she avenged her with a 3-1 win in September.
The Canada vs. Croatia match was played against a backdrop of friction following Belgium’s defeat, with Hardman sending an emotional message to his players after the match.
Asked in a pitchside interview what he said in the post-match huddle, Hardman said: It’s as easy as it gets. “
This sparked an immediate reaction from the Croatian tabloids, and on Saturday, Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic delivered a tough lecture on the need for respect.
Herdman claimed that the message to the players was simply “reminding them that there is another task ahead.” And he immediately praised Croatia, calling it a “top top top top top football team”.
However, the damage was done. Perhaps aptly, Canada all wore Black Sunday.
Hardman changed one starting line-up, with Larin replacing Hoilet and switching to a 4-4-2 formation.
Playing club football for Red Star Belgrade in Serbia, Boljan scored behind the back line of Richie Laria, Vitria, Miller and Johnston.
Hutchinson, Eustakio, Davis and Buchanan were in midfield behind David and Larin.
Croatia’s roster includes eight players with previous World Cup experience, including star midfielder Luka Modrić, who is entering the tournament for the third time.
Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on November 27, 2022.
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Canada records drought in men’s World Cup but cannot hold back Croatia
Source link Canada records drought in men’s World Cup but cannot hold back Croatia