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World Cup 2022 draw: Canada plays Belgium in first game

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Canada will play Belgium, Morocco and Croatia in Group F at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Canada learned their opponents during the official World Cup draw held in Doha Friday.

“It was a surreal moment, as a Canadian or just a football fan, to be able to see your team in a pot, waiting for your team to be pulled out,” admitted Herdman after the draw.

Herdman’s men will open their campaign against Belgium Nov. 23. Canada then takes on Croatia Nov. 27 before wrapping up the group stage against Morocco Dec. 1.

Canada’s World Cup fixtures

  • Wednesday, Nov. 23: vs Belgium
  • Sunday, Nov. 27: vs Croatia
  • Thursday, Dec. 1: vs Morocco

“We wanted those type of games,” said Herdman. “You go into a World Cup, there are no easy matches. And I think any team can beat any team on a given day. That’s just tournament football.

“Belgium, we know their quality (with) players like De Bruyne and Lukaku and what they’ve done on the international stage. And then the Croatians, who four years ago were (World Cup) finalist. I mean, this is what we want.”

Canada will be making its first appearance at the men’s World Cup since Mexico in 1986, where Tony Waiters squad failed to earn any points or score any goals.

But Canada head coach John Herdman has been adamant that he expects his squad to do more than just make up the numbers in Qatar in November.

“We know qualifying for a World Cup is the most important part of that event,” Herdman said recently. “But there are other things, there are other goals that are important for us.”

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About Author

Photographer and Writer | Stuart Gradon is soccer journalist and web communications professional. He covers Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League and Canada's national teams. He has also worked on assignment at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 and FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010.

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