FIFA World Cup 2022 Belgium kicked off their campaign for the FIFA World Cup 2022 with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Canada on November 23 in their Group F matchup.
The Canadians made a strong start to the game by putting their opponents on the back foot with their speed and determination. Their aggressive play earned them a penalty kick in the ninth minute, but Thibaut Courtois saved Alphonso Davies’s weak attempt.
The Maple Leafs continued to attack the Belgian goal despite this. However, Belgium took a 44th-minute lead through Michy Batshuayi, somewhat defying conventional wisdom, and maintained that advantage at halftime.
During the intermission, the European team recalibrated itself and was much more organized in the second half as Canada slowly lost steam. While both teams had some decent chances, it didn’t really look like they would score.
The Red Devils’ previous success on the big stage eventually paid off, as they narrowly defeated a determined Canadian team.
On that note, here are the player evaluations from a holding experience at the Ahmad Container Ali Arena.
Ratings for Belgium’s Players
Thibaut Courtois: 8/10
Courtois was dominant in the Belgian goal and saved a penalty to keep the game scoreless. He also did a great job with the ball at his feet, giving his team a good back outlet.
Normally a central midfielder, Leander Dendoncker performed admirably on the right flank of Belgium’s back three. In addition to making three clearances and four recoveries, he completed the most passes (72) in the game.
Toby Alderweireld – 8/10
Alderweireld drove the Belgian safeguard playing in their back three with a marvelous presentation. He played an inch-perfect pass and made 12 clearances to set up Batshuayi for the winner.
Jan Vertonghen – 7/10
Vertonghen carried the ball out of the back with confidence while playing on the left side of Belgium’s back three. He also made five recoveries and six clearances.
Timothy Castagne – 7/10
Castagne demonstrated his versatility by playing one half at right wingback and one half at left wingback, putting in a tidy shift at both positions. He defended well throughout and moved the ball forward effectively when given the opportunity.
Axel Witsel – 7/10
Witsel moved the ball quickly and quietly at the center of the Belgian midfield. He contributed his fair share of defensive coverage while also achieving an impressive pass accuracy of 96%.
Youri Tielemans: 5/10
Tielemans played a minor role and struggled to contribute to Belgium’s offensive play in the first half. Because of this, Amadou Onana took his place at halftime.
Yannick Carrasco – 5/10
Yannick Carrasco receives a rating of 5/10 for his performance as a left wingback, in which he conceded an early penalty and received a booking. He made four recoveries and won all four of his tackles, but he was replaced during the halftime break.
Kevin De Bruyne: 6.5/10
De Bruyne looked dangerous every time he got the ball and carried it very well, but he sometimes didn’t make the right final pass. He did, however, complete two dribbles and make a game-high four key passes to win the official Player of the Match award.
Eden Peril – 5/10
Peril showed looks at his popular ability to spill yet couldn’t exactly find the flash reliably. He didn’t take a shot all game and was replaced by Leandro Trossard shortly after the hour mark.
Michy Batshuayi – 7/10
Leading Belgium in the absence of Romelu Lukaku, Batshuayi scored the opening goal in the first half with a well-taken strike. However, he was not as clinical as he could have been and should have taken advantage of more chances before being replaced in the 78th minute.
Thomas Meunier (Carrasco 46’) – 6/10
Thomas Meunier (Carrasco 46′), one of the substitutes, earned a rating of 6/10. Meunier was cautioned just a few minutes after entering the game, but he defended well enough to help his team keep a clean sheet.
Amadou Onana (Tielemans 46′) – 6/10
Onana was brought in to give the midfield some toughness. He did a good job of carrying the ball and making five recoveries.
Leandro Trossard (Hazard 62’) – 6/10
Leandro Trossard (Hazard 62′) received a rating of 6/10 for his dribbling skills during his time on the field, but he was unable to deliver the game-winning goal.
Lois Openda (Batshuayi 78’) – 4/10
Lois Openda (Batshuayi 78′) received a rating of 4/10 for her performance. Despite making an appearance in the game’s final moments, Open was unable to really make an impact.
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