Canada head coach John Herdman lifts lid on full-time speech: ‘I told them we’re going to go and ‘F’ Croatia’


Canada head coach John Herdman has revealed he told his players they will go and “F Croatia next” as he addressed them on the pitch following their unfortunate 1-0 defeat by Belgium on Wednesday.

Canada outplayed second-ranked Belgium in their opening 2022 World Cup match and had numerous chances to break the deadlock in the opening half.

But Thibaut Courtois saved an early penalty before Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal to give Belgium a 1-0 win.

After the match, Canada manager Herdman addressed all of his squad on the field of play and told them he was confident they would beat 2018 runners-up Croatia to keep their World Cup dream alive.

When asked what he said, he replied: “I just told them they belong here.

“And we’re going to go and ‘F’ Croatia next. It’s as simple as that.”



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Herdman added that, although he was proud of his team, he recognised Canada had spurned a fine opportunity to beat one of the best sides in the world to open their World Cup campaign with a win.

“I’m proud of the performance,” Herdman added. “But you need to take three points in your first game. We had an opportunity tonight to be top of the group, that was the mission, and we missed it. 

“But I’m proud of the performance. These lads showed that they can live on this stage and I think they made the fans proud and made them feel that they belong here.”

Canada have yet to collect a point or even score a goal in four World Cup matches, which includes the three games from their debut in 1986.

Canada’s World Cup results

Opponent Result Tournament



Mexico 1986



Mexico 1986

Soviet Union


Mexico 1986



Qatar 2022

They play Croatia on Sunday and need to avoid defeat to keep their chances of reaching the knockout stage in Qatar alive.



Belgium 1 Canada 0: Davies misses penalty, Eustaquio’s nutmeg, Batshuayi’s time is now

(Photo: Getty Images)


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