Canada 0-1 Belgium: Batshuayi scores, Davies misses penalty

Canada were punished for missing their chances during their opening World Cup game as Michy Batshuayi scored to give Belgium a 1-0 lead at half-time.

The game was a live encounter in the first half and Canada had the best opportunity to strike first following a handball. But Alphonso Davies, who has been out of action since Nov. 5, stepped up only to see the attempt saved by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Yet despite the scuff, Canada stayed very involved in the match with second-ranked Belgium the side forced to sit back. John Herdman’s side registered 14 shots compared to four for Belgium.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard were quiet, but just before the break, Belgium were able to snap the deadlock through Michy Batshuayi for 1-0.

The match marks a 36-year wait for the Canadian men’s national soccer team as it returns to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

This is a breaking news update. See earlier version of this article below.

Canada’s tournament opener sees John Herdman’s team hit the pitch against Belgium for the fourth game of Day 4 action, which saw Group F opponents Croatia and Morocco draw 0-0, alongside other results.

On Monday, Wales drew 1-1 against the United States in its first World Cup game in 64 years. Meanwhile, 51st-ranked Saudi Arabia upset third-ranked Argentina on Tuesday, and earlier on Wednesday, Japan pulled off a stunning comeback win over Germany.

Can Canada, a country often known for dominating in hockey, hold its own on soccer’s biggest stage? It’s time to find out.

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