FIFA World Cup 2022: Belgium crash out of match, Morocco beat Canada to enter knockout levels | Soccer Information

Croatia superior to the final 16 of the World Cup on Thursday after a 0-0 draw in opposition to Belgium, whose group-stage exit will possible usher within the breakup of its gifted however underachieving era of gamers. The jap European nation has reached not less than the semifinals on every of the 2 instances it has reached the knockout stage. Belgium was eradicated after scoring one purpose in three video games and did not dwell as much as its standing because the second-ranked workforce and one of many match favorites.

Needing a win to make sure of advancing, Belgium produced its greatest efficiency of the World Cup and wasted two clear possibilities that fell to Romelu Lukaku. The halftime substitute struck a shot in opposition to the submit and failed to manage a ball that bounced off his chest.

What has lengthy been referred to as Belgium’s “Golden Era” now that includes six gamers with greater than 100 appearances is ready to separate up with a World Cup semifinal look in 2018 as its peak.

Morocco superior to the final 16 on the World Cup for simply the second time after clinging on for a 2-1 win over Canada on Thursday. The victory meant it completed high of Group F forward of 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia and semifinalist Belgium. Croatia went by way of in second and No. 2-ranked Belgium was surprisingly eradicated after their 0-0 draw. The Moroccans’ solely different journey previous the group stage got here in 1986.

OFFICIAL : Morocco & Croatia have Certified for The 2022 Fifa World Cup Knockouts from The Group F.

Hakim Ziyech scored for Morocco within the fourth minute after a nasty error by Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan left the winger to shoot the ball into an empty purpose. Youssef En-Nesyri added a second within the twenty third. It regarded then like Morocco would overrun the Canadians. However Nayef Aguerd’s own-goal simply earlier than halftime made it 2-1 and lifted Canada sufficient for them to place strain on Morocco seeking an equalizing purpose for many of the second half.

Canada got here agonizingly shut when a header from captain Atiba Hutchinson, who got here on as a second-half substitute, bounced off the crossbar and onto the goal-line. Canada, which is able to co-host the subsequent World Cup in 2026 with america and Mexico, had already been eradicated earlier than the Morocco recreation. It finally misplaced all three of its video games in Qatar, matching its three defeats at its solely different World Cup look in 1986.

The Moroccan squad gamers had been already leaping up and down in a huddle close to the dugout nicely earlier than the ultimate whistle and coach Walid Regragui was smiling broadly and gesturing along with his arms for them to maintain celebrating.

Morocco has swept apart doubts that appointing Regragui lower than three months earlier than the World Cup would undermine its possibilities of reaching the final 16. Morocco started its Qatar marketing campaign with a morale-boosting draw in opposition to Croatia after which beat Belgium 2-0 for arguably its greatest lead to worldwide soccer.

Morocco has now received as many video games at this World Cup as in all of its earlier appearances on the match mixed and is on track for its greatest efficiency on the match. The North African nation’s solely main worldwide soccer title got here on the 1976 African Cup of Nations.

A foul Canadian error gifted Morocco the opening purpose at Al Thumama Stadium when Steven Vitoria’s again go put goalkeeper Borjan below strain. However as an alternative of clearing downfield, Borjan inexplicably side-footed the ball gently within the course of Ziyech, who chipped it first-time again over Borjan and into the unguarded purpose.

For the second purpose, Achraf Hakimi’s lengthy ball dropped between Canada defenders Vitoria and Kamal Miller, and En-Nesyri chased it down and fired previous Borjan to place Morocco in management.

Canada received one again when Sam Adekugbe’s cross deflected off the fitting foot of Aguerd and in by way of one other spark off goalkeeper Yassine Bounou’s proper glove. Bounou was again in purpose for Morocco after lacking the Belgium win when he fell unwell minutes earlier than kickoff and had to get replaced.

Canada got here inside a whisker of avoiding defeat for the primary time in its six World Cup matches when Hutchinson rose over the defenders round him at a nook and headed goalward. The ball crashed into the underside of the crossbar, bounced down on the road and Alistair Johnston could not power in a follow-up header. Replays confirmed a part of the ball had crossed the road however not all of it. (With PTI inputs)

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