Canada Crash out of World Cup but score first ever goal in tournament versus Croatia

Alphonso Davies scores first World Cup goal for Canada but it not enough to stop them heading out of the tournament following a 4-1 lost to Croatia. A double from Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric sent the 2018 World Cup finalist top of the group. Following Belgium’s shock lost earlier to Morocco. Davies’ goal was the earliest of the tournament beating Cody Gakpo’s early striker for the Netherlands against Ecuador. 

The first chance of the game was the goal for Canada in the second minute their first in a World Cup. Tajon Buchanan picked up the ball on the right the Club Brugge winger floated in a cross and there was the talisman Alphonso Davies who sent a powerful headed down low to left of Dominik Livakovic’s net. 

Buchanan was a constant threat down the Canadian right offensively but also defensively a very busy side as the left-back for Croatia Borna Sosa was up and down the flank putting in crosses. In the 19th minute another cross by Buchanan caused problems and was cleared by Josip Juranovic the Croatian and Celtic right-back.  

In the 22nd minute, Matteo Kovacic powered through the Canadian midfield looking for a one two with Marko Livaja who went to shot but couldn’t quite reach it and it went into the palms of Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan. 

In the 35th minute, Kovacic got away from Jonathan David and played through Livaja who shot was  saved by Borjan expertly down to the right-hand side. 

The 36th minute led to the breakthrough for Croatia. Kovacic found Ivan Perisic who reversed a pass to Andrej Kramaric ,on the left of the penalty area, who tucked the ball low to the right-hand side of the goal with confidence. Kramaric’s second goal in a World Cup final after scoring against Russia in the quarterfinals in a 2-2 draw.

In the 42nd minutes Buchanan ran down the wing but was tackled by Sosa who cleared it for a throwing. 

 Croatia took the lead in the 44th minute , Marko Livija with the goal a great run by Juranovic who got tackled by Kamal Miller, the ball bobbled back to Juranovic who found Livaja. The 29-year-old took one touch and then hit it low to the goalkeepers right a clinical finish from the inform Hajduk Split striker. 

Three minutes into added time another chance for Kramaric. Johnston disposed on the right side by Perisic who found Kramaric who took one touch  to steady himself, but his left footed shot was far over the goal.  

Canada, looking to get back into the game, brought on two substitutions at half-time. Isamel Kone, who only made his senior debut in the MLS last February, came on for the injured Stephen Eustaquio. Toronto midfielder Jonathan Osorio came on for Cyle Larin as Davies was put up front with Jonathan David.  

In the 49th minute a shot from substitute Osorio came close to the Livakovic’s net just sailing past the right post. 

In the 56th minute Osorio found Buchanan who found David on the edge of the box his shot was tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper. 

Davies won a freekick on the right-hand side of the box in the 63rd minute. Which the Bayern Munnich man took but it hit the wall.  

In the 70th minute it was 3-1 Croatia, Kramaric at the double. Ivan Perisic down the left cut inside Hoilett and crossed one into the box it reached Kramaric who took an excellent touch inside and calmly rolled it into the bottom left corner with his weaker left foot.

After this goal, Canada were looking to get back into the game but to no avail. Both sides made a plethora of substitutions in this period.  

In the fourth minute into addition time a mistake by Canadian defender Kamal Miller led to a fourth for Croatia. The Montreal defender let the ball go through his legs and Croatian substitute Miroslav Orsic capitalised. The Dinamo Zagreb man, then squared the ball to fellow substitute Lovro Majer who calmly slotted the ball into the roof of the net. 

The victory puts Croatia in a commanding position in group F, knowing that a draw against Belgium will send them through. A victory against Belgium will guarantee top spot for Croatia.

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