Canada’s World Cup dreams shattered by Croatia
After Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Croatia at Khalifa International Stadium, Canada was officially knocked out of the World Cup.
Just 67 seconds in, Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies scored Canada’s first World Cup goal, but Croatia staged a remarkable comeback with goals from Andrej Kramaric, Marko Livaja, and Lovro Majer to take first place in Group F. In their match against Morocco, Croatia will try to clinch first place, while Canada will be eliminated after playing Belgium.
It all looked so promising for Canada when Davies scored their first ever men’s national team goal at a World Cup after just 67 seconds, but they were steadily torn apart by Croatia and were eliminated from the tournament in the round of 16.
Canada is exciting to watch, and they gave both Belgium and Croatia a run for their money for long stretches, but they also looked like a team competing in their first World Cup since 1986. It will take some time before you feel comfortable here. Davies scored the fastest goal of the tournament so far when he thumped in a header from Tajon Buchanan’s pinpoint cross, sending Canada’s section of Khalifa International Stadium into a frenzy. The Canadian team had failed to score in their only prior World Cup appearance in 1986 in Mexico.
After Andrej Kramaric and Marko Livaja put Croatia up 2-1 at halftime, the blocks of red jerseys sagged back in their chairs. Canada got a boost from the halftime substitutions of Jonathan Osorio and Ismael Kone, but when Kramaric scored his second goal in the 70th minute, they knew it was time to go for the exits. Even worse was the fourth, scored by replacement Lovro Majer on the break.
Naturally, Canada will return in 2026 as co-hosts, while the veteran core of Luka Modric, Dejan Lovren, and Ivan Perisic will be scheming one final unlikely run.