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FIFA World Cup: How to watch Belgium vs Canada

FIFA World Cup: How to watch Belgium's Qatar 2022 opener vs Canada on November 23, 2022

November 22, 2022 By Ali M.
The Red Devils kick off their campaign with an interesting showdown against Les Rouges as Belgium's golden generation go in search of silverware once more.

Wednesday sees Group F in the 2022 FIFA World Cup get underway, as all four teams in this group will take to the field. The 2018 runners-up Croatia face Morroco in the earlier tie but all eyes will be on the other fixture as European heavyweights Belgium take on a Canadian side looking to make history in Qatar.

For many fans and pundits, this tournament will be the Red Devils' final opportunity to achieve silverware with their golden generation. With Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, and Axel Witsel all being over the age of 30, it is now or never for Roberto Martinez's men.

Belgium finished third in Russia 2018 and while there was disappointment at that time following their semifinal defeat to eventual champions France, the belief was greater things were yet to come. Sadly, things have not unfolded that way.

Since then, the Red Devils have impressed on occasions but have never done enough to secure silverware. First came their Euro 2020 disappointment, with Martinez's side beating defending champions Portugal in the round of 16 to announce themselves in the competition only to lose 2-1 to Italy in the quarterfinals.

Then there was the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League campaign. The Belgians beat out stiff competition from England and Denmark in the group stage to make the finals but came up short against France, throwing away a 2-0 first-half lead to lose 3-2 to Les Bleus.

And De Bruyne and Co. head into Qatar 2022 on the back of an even worse UEFA Nations League campaign, this time failing to make it out of the groups after missing out on a spot in the finals to the Netherlands.

As a result, pressure is mounting on Martinez over his failure to deliver success with the country's best crop of players. Sadly, the odds of Roberto overcoming this hurdle have diminished due to the fitness concerns surrounding Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, two influential attackers that made the squad nonetheless.

Canada, meanwhile, are on the opposite end of their cycle. While Belgium are in their twilight, Les Rouges are preparing to embark on an exciting journey.

Led by the likes of Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies, the North American team hope to impress in only their second-ever FIFA World Cup appearance. As their head coach John Herdman put it, none of the major countries rate them, but in Canada, there is a sense of optimism among the fans.

"If you go to France, Germany, Italy, England, Brazil, Argentina they'll ask 'who's Canada?' But I think internally, as a country, we've started to believe things are possible, and it's just the same mentality – one game at a time," Herdman said.

And it's easy to understand their excitement. Les Rouges topped the table in the CONCACAF qualifiers, finishing ahead of continental giants Mexico and the USA, though El Tri missed out on the top spot only due to goal difference.

The top two goal scorers of the qualifying round were Canadian, with Cyle Larin (13) and the aforementioned Jonathan David (9) leading the chart. In fact, the Club Brugge forward scored three goals during his nation's most recent encounters with Mexico and the USMNT, netting once against the Stars and Stripes and bagging a brace against the earlier.

This will be Canada's first FIFA World Cup since 1986, meaning a lack of experience could derail them. Nonetheless, given that the North Americans failed to pick up a point or even score in that appearance, Jonathan David and Co. will be hungry for redemption.

Team news

Belgium: The Red Devils' all-time top scorer Romelu Lukaku will miss this tie due to a hamstring strain. Eden Hazard, meanwhile, might not be sharp due to a lack of playing time at Real Madrid but Roberto Martinez will likely start his captain nonetheless. His brother Thorgan Hazard, meanwhile, has been dealing with injuries, meaning Castagne or Carrasco should be the left wing-back. Michy Batshuayi, on the other hand, should deputize as the no.9.

Canada: Herdman's biggest concern is Alphonso Davies as the Bayern Munich sensation suffered a hamstring injury right before joining up with the national team. Canada captain Atiba Hutchinson should start, meaning he will earn his 99th cap in his FIFA World Cup debut. Everyone else in the squad is fit and ready to go.

Key stats

  • This will be the very first encounter between these two nations.

  • Belgium enjoyed an unbeaten run in the qualifying stage, winning six out of eight while averaging just over three goals per game.

  • Canada, meanwhile, had the best attack (23 goals scored) and defensive record (seven conceded) during the third round of CONCACAF's qualifying stage.

  • The Red Devils enter this fixture on the back of successive defeats, losing to the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League and against Egypt in a friendly.

  • Roberto Martinez's side scored 16 goals at Russia 2018, the most by any team at the tournament.

Broadcast listings


Match details, result and original broadcast info

Belgium 1 - 0 Canada

November 23, 2022 2:00pmAhmad bin Ali Stadium (Al Rayyan (Al-Rayyan))

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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