The CanMNT Troubled Belgium’s Defence: How Did They Do It?

CanMNT Troubled Belgium's Defence as Tajon Buchanan Played a Big Role in that and Fights for the Ball on November 23, 2022

Post-Match Talking Points – The CanMNT troubled Belgium’s defence, especially in the first half. They did this with a combination of speed and quality crosses. Richie Laryea, Alphonso Davies, and Tajon Buchanan in particular were able to get scoring chances for their team throughout the game. It was a positive performance for Canada and one that deserved a better result.

How Did the CanMNT Troubled Belgium’s Defence?

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CanMNT Made Crosses and Through Balls, and Used Their Speed

The high line of the 3-4-3 meant that Canada was looking to press Belgium and try to create scoring chances. Belgium looked rattled and might have been surprised by the quality of players that play for the CanMNT.

This can be first seen when Tajon Buchanan crossed the ball to Jonathan David inside the box. This resulted in a corner where Buchanan’s shot earned them a penalty, which unfortunately Alphonso Davies did not convert the penalty.

They also troubled Belgium with through passes. Here are a few examples:

  • Alistair Johnston delivered a great cross to Junior Hoilett, who missed the net.
  • There were a series of good passes, which led to Atiba Hutchinson getting a chance to score in the 27-minute.
  • After that, great teamwork by the CanMNT led to Jonathan David getting a scoring chance in the 32-minute.
  • They also had some great chances in the second half with Tajon Buchanan and Cyle Larin getting great chances to score in the second half.

Belgium really only had one good scoring chance. Unfortunately, for Canada, it was a scoring chance that they converted as Michy Batshuayi got a pass from Toby Alderweireld to score the goal. The CanMNT passing was also very good, as they were able to find players for the right places to score. Players like Jonathan David, Larin, and Tajon Buchanan had some fantastic opportunities to tie/win the game. However, the attacking third was just not their thing yesterday.

Canada launched 14 shots against Belgium in the first half without scoring a goal. According to Opta, this is the most shots by a single team in the first half without scoring a goal since the England match in the 2006 FIFA World Cup against Trinidad and Tobago.

The Belgians also seemed to be caught off-guard. For the first 15-20 minutes, they looked out of sorts and a bit surprised by how strong a start Canada had.

CanMNT Played Good Defence

Lastly, Canada’s defence also played really well against Belgium. With the exception of that mistake late in the first half. Kamal Miller was outstanding, as he played a massive role in limiting Belgium’s offence.

  • Miller made a fantastic defensive diving play to prevent a sure goal in the second half.
  • Miller made an outstanding block in the 23-minute.

Steven Vitória also played really well, playing well defensively and not making too many mistakes. These limited chances for Belgium meant that Canada had more chances to score goals on the other end of the field.

The CanMNT Troubled Belgium’s Defence at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

READ MORE: The 2022 CanMNT World Cup Preview: Looking to Make History

Belgium had a new level of respect for the CanMNT after that game. It was a respect Canada had to earn during the game.

The CanMNT players know now what it is like to play in a FIFA World Cup match. Hopefully, they work on their finishing as they have got another big game against Croatia on November 27 at 11:00 AM ET. They now have a blueprint to do well in the tournament. The question is, can they implement that same strategy again against a Croatian side that they never faced before in its national team’s history?

Fans can watch the game between the CanMNT and Croatia televised live on TV nationally on TSN and CTV. They can also watch the game live on RDS at 11:00 AM ET on Sunday. That game will take place at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar.