Canada unleashed offers the way

Of the five confederations represented at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Concacaf, is the only one whose entrants have all played their opening matches after Wednesday night's action.

Here's the verdict:

• 4 games;
• 2 points;
• 1 measly goal scored (Tim Weah's marvelous strike for the USA against Wales); and
• 9 goals allowed.

The two losses both came on Wednesday.

Costa Rica's 7-0 defeat to Spain was a humiliating setback for the Ticos, who failed to muster a single shot. The seven goals Keylor Navas conceded equaled the combined total of goals he allowed in eight games over the last two World Cups.

Canada fell to Belgium, 1-0, extending its streak of having never scored in the World Cup. Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was the difference, making three big saves, including an early stop on Alphonso Davies' penalty kick.

Canada could have had at least two other penalties awarded in their favor in the first half but got no love from Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe and his VAR crew.

“It’s not easy to score goals at this World Cup, as you can see," Canada coach John Herdman said.

This or any World Cup.

Canada, whose only other appearance in the World Cup came in 1986, has now played four games, and lost two 1-0, and two 2-0. 

Scorelines can often be deceiving, and certainly this one was. In defeat, Canada showed the way for other Concacaf teams, putting the disappointing Belgians on the defensive from the start and never relenting.

The Canadians attacked down the right wing with Tajon Buchanan and Richie Laryea — both raised in the U.S. college and MLS ranks — and the unstoppable Davies, who started his pro career in MLS, on the left. They dominated midfield, giving Kevin De Bruyne little time on the ball. But they were ultimately undone by their poor finishing, putting just three of their 21 shots on target.

You'd have figured after Canada fell behind right before the end of the first half that it would be unable to continue its assault into the second half. But the attacks continued.

You could not help but to contrast the Canadian approach with that of the USA on Monday night. The Canadians were enterprising and they were fearless.

No, the USA did not play with fear against Wales. It was the better team for the first half against the Dragons, but with a chance to put them away, it didn't.

Tactics? Personnel? Execution? All those issues are debatable. I'd argue they don't get to the essential point.

All I want is for the USA is to go out and show the relentless spirit the Canadians displayed on Wednesday night. Its game will take care of the rest. After that, the final result won't matter.

Soccer is funny like that.

7 comments about "Canada unleashed offers the way".
  1. Santiago 1314, November 24, 2022 at 8:54 a.m.

    ExactaMundo.!!!.... Come On Ggg... Wind'em Up... And Let the u25 Team Play.!!!

  2. Kent James, November 24, 2022 at 11:17 a.m.

    The Canadian team against Belgium seemed like a different team than the one that went through qualifying.  In qualifying, Canada's strategy was to absorb pressure and counter attack through the speed of their front line.  Against Belgium, Canada went after them everywhere.  It was a fun game to watch, and Canada deserved a better result.  Courtios was the difference (though Canada needed to get more shots on target).  

    The US was aggressive against Wales in the first half (and at times, in the 2nd half as well).  The score in the game makes a difference, and it's hard to tell if in the 2nd half Wales just played a lot harder (because their backs were against the wall), the US coaches told the US to be more cautious, or the players themselves became more cautious on their own (since they also know that preserving the lead would have been a big step towards getting out of the group).  If the US had thrown caution to the wind in the 2nd half while holding a 1-0 lead, and left ourselves open for Wales to score on the counter, the criticisms would have been how naive we were.  There are no easy routes to victory.  

    I agree it is better to make errors of commission instead of ommission, so we do want to take risks instead of sitting back and hoping things go our way.  As Matt Damond said, "fortune favors the bold" (although cryptocurrency may not be the best advertisement for taking risks). Likewise, Zimmerman's unfortunate tackle was an error of commission, so the risks are real, but we should still take them.  If nothing else, games where risks are taken are more fun to watch....

    On to England! 

  3. Roland Paiva, November 24, 2022 at 3:14 p.m.

    It all starts with the National Anthem 

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, November 25, 2022 at 8:26 a.m.

    Agreed... But, I didn't see an issue with this Last Game... All players Stood with their Hands over their Hearts and Not that Silly Interlocked Arms thing... They Sure played like an American Spirited Team in that 1st Half... Wasn't till Ggg got ahold of them at Half Time and probably gave some BUZZ KILL speech and Power Point presentation that put the Team to Sleep .. For Sure he sent that message when he made that 3 Man "Stability/Experience" Sub

  5. Mike Fredsell, November 24, 2022 at 7:55 p.m.

    It always seems with American coaches at this level when they get a head the whole game changes. The first half Wales could not get balls out of the back because of the pressure. Then the second half starts and there is minimal pressure. You can't defend for 45 minutes in a World Cup. Yes when Wales tied it they played more pressure again but to late. 


  6. Santiago 1314 replied, November 25, 2022 at 8:47 a.m.

    Agreed Mike...
    Neither Haji, Acosta or Yedlin(at this stage in his Career) known for their Great Pressing ability or Technical skills...
    With a 1-0 Lead at that moment, it was Crucial for Ggg to Regain the Momentum... Wales was Tiring Also...
    USA Players have Never been good at "Managing" a Tie or Lead...
    It's Not in the "DNA"
    They should have been allowed to go back to "Spirit of '76", Go Gett'em Boys... The Game was Crying out for a Little Tiki-Taka from USA.... Pressure then Possession 
    But, Inept Coach thought he could actually COACH, made the Wrong Choices.!!!
    Would have been better to Bring on:
    LDLT for Musah( not Acosta)
    Scally for Dest (not Yedlin, who Mistrapped the Ball out of Bounds, which started the Next Wales Possesion that led to the PK)
    Jesus for Sargent (Not Like-for-Like Haji)(I'm not even sure Sargent was Tired Out at that point.???)

  7. John DiFiore, November 24, 2022 at 9:10 p.m.

    And Mexico... 0-3 1st game.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications