Home sport Canada could not achieve the desired result in Qatar and was eliminated from the Men’s World Cup, losing to Morocco

Canada could not achieve the desired result in Qatar and was eliminated from the Men’s World Cup, losing to Morocco

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Canada dug themselves a hole early on Thursday and could not find a way out despite falling behind, crashing out of the World Cup without a win for the second time in 36 years after a disappointing 2-1 defeat by Morocco.

Hakim Ziyech and Youssef Enciri scored for 22nd seed Morocco, who took advantage of Canada’s formidable defense to take a 2-0 lead after 23 minutes. Canada scored an own goal from Naif Aguirre to reduce the deficit to 2-1 in the first half.

The Moroccans swept the field at the final whistle, after securing their place at the top of Group F and their place in the round of 16.

The 41st-ranked Canadians surrendered the ball and were second-best behind the speedy, opportunistic Atlas Lions, whose counterattack led to Canada’s first-half stumbling block.

Canada coach John Herdman changed the side of the field from no jacket to a Canadian jersey to a suit jacket while trying to find a winning combination on and off the field. But there was little flow to the Canadian offense until he began making substitutions within the hour.

This triggered a flurry of Canadian pressure, with Morocco barely holding on. The Canadiens came close in the 71st minute when substitute Atyppa Hutchinson’s header was deflected off a corner kick and bounced off the ground untouched by the goal line.

Canadian Sam Adekogbe, left, and Alfonso Davies, right, celebrate after an own goal from Naif Aguierd reduced Morocco’s lead to 2-1 before halftime. (Getty Images)

Hutchinson, in his 101st appearance for Canada, nodded in disbelief as the Moroccan crowd behind the goal gasped.

Moroccan goalkeeper Yacine Bounou nearly lost his grip on the ball in the 87th minute but held on to avoid disaster and the Atlas Lions escaped four minutes into stoppage time – Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borgan headed for a corner amid cheers from fans on both sides.

The Canadians finished the tournament with zero points, after losing 1-0 to No. 2 Belgium and 4-1 to No. 12 Croatia in their first two matches.

And although the Canadiens earned kudos for their display against Belgium and Alphonso Davies scoring the first-ever goal in men’s soccer in the game against Croatia, they’re still out and yet to score in two trips to the World Cup.

Canada went 0-3-0 in the 1986 tournament in Mexico, losing 1-0 to France and 2-0 to Hungary and the Soviet Union.

Davies’ goal proved to be a chord in a World Cup that soured after a blistering start.

Twelfth-seeded Croatia also qualified after a goalless draw with second-seeded Belgium in their Group F match, which started at the same time.

Morocco started with a 16-pass cross that led to a cross across the Canadian penalty area. Things got worse for Canada after that.

After scoring 68 seconds into the match against Croatia last time out, it was Canada who got off to a disastrous start this time after defender Steven Vittoria missed a backpass attempt in the fourth minute.

Ajord and Zikh celebrate Morocco’s victory over Canada. (Katherine Ivel/Getty Images)

Borgan ran out of the penalty area and En-Nesyri was running towards him. But instead of directing the ball to a safe place, Borgan seemed stuck in two minds about passing or clearing. Instead, the ball went straight to Ziyech, who sent it into the net from distance as Borjan desperately tried to make his way back towards the line.

Borgan put his hands on his hips and turned away in disgust as FIFA President Gianni Infantino smiled from his chest.

Canada was involved with the first two goals scored in the first five minutes of the tournament.

Al-Nusairi doubled the lead in the 23rd minute, after a long ball from Paris Saint-Germain star Ashraf Hakimi penetrated the Canadian defense. Dominating Vitória and Kamal Miller, the Sevilla striker controlled the ball with his left foot and beat Borjan under his arm with a low shot from his right.

Sam Adekogbe delivered a lifeline for Canada in the 40th minute, beating a defender down the left and putting a volley into the goal that hit Aguird’s outstretched leg in front of Bono.

Canadian fans respond after a goal for Morocco. (Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images)

Morocco beat Canada 8-2 (3-0 on penalties) in the first half.

Morocco tied 0-0 with Croatia before beating Belgium 2-0 and entered Thursday’s match knowing that a win or a draw would send it to the round of 16 for the second time in six World Cup matches.

For the Canadian men, the World Cup grandstand now begins on home soil with Canada, Mexico and the United States co-hosting an expanded 48-team tournament in 2026.

Herdman made four changes to the starting line-up, revamping his midfield in the process with Adekogbé, Marc-Anthony Kaye, Jonathan Osorio and Junior Howlett replacing Hutchinson, Stephen Eustachio, Richie Laria and Jonathan David.

Eustaquio (hamstring) was an injury problem prior to the game. Burgan captained Canada in Hutchinson’s absence.

Bourqian responds after the first goal of Morocco. (Matthias Hangst / Getty Images)

Born in Montreal but raised in Morocco, Bono turned down an offer to wear the Canadian colors from former Canadian coach Benito Floro before playing for Morocco.

Fans from both countries turned up the volume at Al Thumama Stadium early on, creating a lively atmosphere. Attendance announced on 43102.

After advancing, the Moroccans kept up the pressure. Canada finally had a chance in the 15th minute when a sliding Tajoon Buchanan missed his boot after Kyle Larraine’s low cross into the box.

First-half stoppage time goal for En-Nesyri after a Moroccan free kick was flagged for offside.

Herdman sent Hutchinson, David and Ismail Kony in the 60th minute to try to come back. Lara followed five minutes later with David Waterspoon entering the game in the 76th minute.

Morocco entered the match with a World Cup record of 3-9-6, having beaten Portugal 3-1 in 1986 and Scotland 3-0 in 1998 as well as Belgium here.

Morocco, who had not conceded any goals in their previous six matches, was aiming to win back-to-back World Cup matches for the first time.

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