Jue. Feb 9th, 2023

Belgium entered the World Cup as the No. 2 team in the final FIFA rankings but, with the knockout phase almost set, find themselves going home.

Failing to capitalize on the «golden generation» of the national team, Belgium’s draw with Croatia, coupled with Morocco’s 2-1 win over Canada, meant they were knocked out of contention. Croatia and Morocco will advance to the knockout round of Group F.

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Croatia’s Ivan Perisic, front, goes up for the ball against Belgium’s players during the World Cup group F match at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Thursday, December 1, 2022.
(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Romelu Lukaku had a great chance for Belgium in the 90th minute. A cross hit a Croatian defender’s head and then Lukaku’s body. However, the ball went wide of the goal and fell into the arms of Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Lukaku also missed a couple more chances to put the ball on target.

Croatia drew 0-0 after that.

For Morocco, they were able to go up 2-1 in the first 45 minutes and held Canada goalless in the second half.

Romelu Lukaku of Belgium reacts at the end of the World Cup group F match against Croatia in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Thursday, December 1, 2022.

Romelu Lukaku of Belgium reacts at the end of the World Cup group F match against Croatia in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Thursday, December 1, 2022.
(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

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Hakim Ziyech opened the scoring for Morocco in the fourth minute of the match, passing the ball just yards past goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Borjan made a critical mistake and went too far. His clearance went wrong and Ziyech capitalized.

Youssef En-Nesyri added on the scoreboard in the 23rd minute. Morocco might as well have had a clean sheet were it not for a 40th-minute goal that put Canada on the board.

Morocco celebrates after defeating Canada in a group F World Cup match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, December 1, 2022.

Morocco celebrates after defeating Canada in a group F World Cup match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, December 1, 2022.
(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

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Croatia finished runners-up at the World Cup in 2018, losing to France in the final. Morocco is back in the knockout phase of the World Cup for the second time in its nation’s history. They got this far in 1986.

Por admin