Alphonso Davies John Herdman Sport Belgium Canada soccer Alphonso Davies John Herdman Sport Belgium Canada

Canada boss John Herdman hails effort after outshooting Belgium

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John Herdman believes his Canada side proved they belong at the World Cup after they outshone Belgium only to slip to a narrow defeat.Michy Batshuayi hit the only goal of the game as a lacklustre Belgium, ranked second in the world, began Group F with a barely-deserved 1-0 win.Canada - 39 places lower than Belgium in the rankings - had earlier missed a penalty as Alphonso Davies' tame effort was saved by Thibaut Courtois before they were potentially denied two further first-half spot-kicks.Playing in their first World Cup in 36 years, Canada more than held their own and had 21 shots on goal compared to nine from Belgium.Englishman Herdman guided Les Rouges back to the world stage following a fine qualification campaign - becoming the first coach to manage at both the men's and women's World Cups."They showed tonight that they do belong here," he said."It has been a long time since we have been back, our fans were football fans, they really tried to own the stadium tonight."They (the fans) walked away proud I'm sure, proud and feeling like we are a footballing nation.

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