Spain vs. Costa Rica and World Cup news and highlights from Qatar

Belgium players celebrate after the match against Canada on November 23. (John Sibley/Reuters)

A hard-fought match ends in Belgium’s favor. They defeat Canada, 1-0.

In the first half, it was the underdog Canadians that got off to a better start. And in the 10th minute, they were awarded a penalty after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) spotted a handball by Belgium inside the box. But Alphonso Davies failed to convert as Belgian goaltender Thibaut Courtois made a clutch save to keep it nil-nil. 

Canada thought they might have gotten a second penalty later in the half. Richie Laryea went down under Axel Witsel’s challenge who appeared to stand on his foot. There certainly seemed to be contact but the referee waved play on. Canada’s fans started chanting “VAR” from behind the opposite goal and they got their wish when the VAR started looking. But no penalty was awarded.

Then in the 44th minute and against the run of play, Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi received the ball and deposited it in the back of the Canadian net to grab the lead.

In the second half, Belgium shifted into a more defensive shape after snatching the lead. Canada continued to apply pressure. 

As the half progressed, the Canadians began to take more risks — pushing to find that equalizer — and the game opened up. But alas, Canada’s search for its first World Cup goal continues.

Canada will feel they deserved something out of this performance but it’s Belgium who take all three points and sit atop Group F. Earlier today in the group, Morocco and Croatia ended in a 0-0 stalemate. 

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