Canada were left to rue a series of missed opportunities as Belgium beat them 1-0 in the Qatar World Cup.
Canada had numerous chances to score their first goal at a World Cup on their return to the tournament for the first time since 1986.
Their clearest came from the penalty spot early into the game, after Belgium’s Yannick Carrasco was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.
But Davies’s poor spot-kick was saved low to his right by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Canada wasted numerous other opportunities to open the scoring.
They were made to pay when Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime, with the striker running onto a long punt forward from Toby Alderweireld and volleying the ball beyond Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
Canada had even more chances to score after the break but were made to pay for their wastefulness as Belgium escaped with a victory.
Result: Belgium 1-0 Canada
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The key moment of Belgium vs Canada
Davies seeing his pivotal first-half penalty kick saved by Courtois.
It was a desperately poor attempt from the 22-year-old Bayern Munich player, who attempted to beat Courtois by rolling the ball past him to the right.
Courtois guessed correctly, however, diving low and parrying the ball clear.
Perhaps he had done his homework. Davies had put his two previous international penalties to the goalkeeper’s right, scoring both times.
Alderweireld also deserves an honourable mention, with the 33-year-old rolling back the years to deliver an assured display in the heart of Belgium’s defence.
But we have to pick Courtois.
The Real Madrid goalkeeper kept out Canada’s penalty and had to be at his best as Canada peppered his goal with shots.
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Belgium vs Canada key statistic
Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 13 World Cup group stage matches since losing to Saudi Arabia in 1994 — despite failing to progress to the knockout stage of France 1998, after drawing all three of their games.
What does it mean?
It means Croatia are unlikely to underestimate Canada when the two nations clash on Sunday. But it also means that Canada need to avoid defeat against the 2018 runners-up.
Belgium meanwhile find themselves sitting in pole position after Croatia and Morocco played out a goalless draw earlier on Wednesday.
Belgium next take on Morocco on Sunday, in the second match of the day. That’s followed by Canada’s game against Croatia, with John Herdman’s side needing to avoid a second defeat if they want to keep their World Cup campaign alive.
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(Photo: Getty Images)