Croatia closes their gap to victory by four… and ends Canada’s campaign at the World Cup
Croatia ended Canada’s national team’s dream of returning to a World Cup for the first time since 1986, defeating them (4-1) and early elimination from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to play their sixth group due to better goal difference to lead Morocco.
And the Croatian quartet scored, Andrei Kramaric (36th and 70th), Marco Levia (44th) and Lovro Mayer (90th+4th), while Alfonso Davis scored Canada’s only goal (2), as reported by the French press agency.
Canada lost their opening World Cup game by a narrow margin (1-0) to Belgium, while Croatia shared a goalless opening with Morocco.
With that, Croatia led Group F by 4 points against Morocco, who have the same record but with a lower goal difference, after the “Atlas Lions” had previously beaten third-placed Belgium by three points (2-0), while Canada finally is empty-handed.
Canada stunned the Croatians and opened the scoring early in the second minute of the game through their star Davis, who came from long-range and leveled up a Taijon Buchanan cross and headed it past goalkeeper Dominic Levakovic.
And that goal, which came on purpose after 68 seconds, became the second fastest goal in the first round of the World Cup since USA’s Clint Dempsey scored against Ghana in 2014 at 29 seconds.
However, the early goal did not reflect the Canadians’ subsequent performance, who retreated backwards and became vulnerable to the attacks of Croatian commander Luka Modric and his companions.
The Croatians waited until the 36th minute for Kramaric to equalize, who took an artful through ball from Ivan Perisic in the penalty area, converted it in front of him and found goalkeeper Milan Burian’s goal with a strong floor.
Modric’s teammates doubled the goal, this time through Levaya, who took a pass from Josip Juranovic on the edge of the box and crawled past the Canadian keeper to the right (44′).
In the second half, the Croatians hit hard offensively, so Modric passed a dangerous ball to Kramaric, who hit hard, but the goalkeeper was on guard (54′).
To the rhythm of the spectators at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Jonathan David almost equalized for the Canadians, but his shot was blocked with his fingertips by Levakovic (56′).
In the 70th minute, Kramaric himself made it difficult for the Canadians to get back into the game, scoring a third goal and his second personal goal when he received a pass from Perisic in the penalty area and before him prepared a left smash into the Canadian goal.
And while the game seemed to be over, substitute Lovro Mayer was on his last breath for a fourth goal that was served to him on a silver platter when substitute Mislav Orsic also picked out the Canadian keeper and passed his colleague, who scored (90+4 ).
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