FIFA World Cup 2022: Croatia smash Canada; Germany and Spain share spoils

28 November, 2022

It was an eventful day in the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Sunday, where a late fightback helped Germany stay alive in the tournament whilst Canada, who put in two spirited performances in their first-ever World Cup, were knocked out of the tournament after a 4-1 defeat against Croatia. 

Canada got off to a terrific start against the Croatians in their Group F fixture, with Alphonso Davies scoring in just the second minute of the match. The Bayern Munich footballer scored Canada’s first-ever World Cup goal and the North American contingent continued to pile on the pressure.

However, the midfield brilliance of Croatia helped them regain control and they hit back with two quick goals. The 2018 finalists got goals from Andrej Kramaric and Marko Livaja as they went into the half-time break with the lead well-placed in their control. 

The side went on to dominate the proceedings in the second 45. Although the Canadians had the better possession in the fixture marginally (52%), Croatia had 13 shots on goal, out of which 10 of them were on target. On the other hand, John Herdman’s team took eight shots and only two of them were on target. 

Kramaric scored another with 20 minutes left to play in normal time, giving them side some breathing space. Lovro Majer came off the bench to score in injury time to make it 4-1 for Croatia, who now have picked up four points in two games ahead of the big fixture against Belgium in their final group game. 

Spain and Germany headed forward in a direction most people expected it to. Luis Enrique’s team had a major share of the possession in the game and had over 80% of the ball in the first half. The biggest moment of the first 45 fell for Antonio Rudiger, who peeled away to celebrate his first goal in World Cup football, but VAR had chalked it as he was off. 

Around the hour mark, Alvaro Morata poked in a terrific goal from close range via a low-cross from Jordi Alba. Jamal Musiala’s energetic presence created a couple of good opportunities and he himself had a golden chance to score his first World Cup goal, but Unai Simon saved it. 

Hansi Flick made a host of aggressive substitutions, bringing in Niclas Fullkrug for his first World Cup game and also Leroy Sane in place on Ilkay Gundagon. 

Fullkrug, the Werder Bremen forward who has been in brilliant form in Bundesliga, came to the rescue for the Germans. He combined a few passes with Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala before smashing home his first goal for the country, which could not have come at a better time.

Leroy Sane had a brilliant chance to seal three points in injury time, but his attempt to take cut past the keeper took the ball a bit too far for his team’s liking and the chance was lost. The match finished in a pulsating 1-1 draw, which could’ve swung either way on another day.