Alphonso Davies John Herdman Football Belgium Croatia Canada Boxing Alphonso Davies John Herdman Football Belgium Croatia Canada

Canada showed against Belgium they belong at World Cup, says manager John Herdman

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John Herdman believes his Canada side proved they belong at the World Cup 2022 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.

We came into the game with a couple of goals, the first was to play fearless and the second goal was to entertain.“We had some other goals – to create some firsts, but we never got to those moments.

I think at times it was one pass too many around the box. I’m not going to criticise them because when you outshoot Belgium I can’t complain too much.“Sometimes it is your night and sometimes it is not.

They made a commitment to themselves before they went out there tonight.”Herdman revealed astronaut Chris Hadfield spoke to his players before the game but now he needs to bring his squad back down to earth before they face Croatia on Sunday.“Teams know us

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