Canada’s Alphonso Davies offers his take on first game loss at World Cup

Coach John Herdman says Canada achieved two goals in its 1-0 loss to Belgium on Wednesday, a result that did not reflect the balance of play on the pitch. Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (1) makes a save on a penalty kick from Canada forward Alphonso Davies (19) during first half Group F World Cup soccer action at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Nathan Denette, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Alphonso Davies took to social media Thursday to provide a brief take on Canada’s 1-0 loss to second-ranked Belgium at the World Cup.

“A disappointing result against a top team in the World Cup. We got two more games to go, we go again on Sunday!” wrote the Bayern Munich star. “Thank you to all the fans for their support.”

The 22-year-old from Edmonton was front and centre Wednesday at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in nearby Al Rayyan. He had a chance in the 11th minute to score Canada’s first-ever goal at the tournament but his penalty kick was saved by Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Click to play video: 'Calgarian in Qatar shares his World Cup experience so far'
Calgarian in Qatar shares his World Cup experience so far

Asked by beIN Sports after the game what was going through his mind when he stepped up to the penalty spot, Davies provided a more general answer.

Story continues below advertisement

“For me, it was knowing that it’s the biggest stage in the world, yeah, just play my game. Don’t change anything about how I play. And defend and attack with the team.

“In all, I was a little bit disappointed but we’re definitely, definitely proud of how we played today.”

Canada Soccer has not made Davies available to the Canadian media since he arrived last Friday from Germany, although he did do an interview with TSN on Sunday.

Davies also shared his emotion on making his World Cup debut.

Click to play video: 'Canada loses 1-0 to Belgium at 1st World Cup match since 1986'
Canada loses 1-0 to Belgium at 1st World Cup match since 1986

“It feels good,” he told BeIN, a tournament rights-holder. “Stepping out on the pitch today was a dream come true for everyone in this white shirt. Playing Belgium, it wasn’t easy and we took the fight to them. We knew we had to show our quality today and that’s what we did.”

Story continues below advertisement

And Davies shared some of coach John Herdman’s comments after the match.

“He told us just keep going. The easiest thing to do is shy away from the competition. We kept fighting, we kept battling and he just told us to keep our head high and keep fighting.”

Davies’ penalty was one of Canada’s three shots on target. Eighteen other Canadian attempts were off the mark.

Davies, who was yellow-carded in the 81st minute, switched from wingback to forward as Canada chased a tying goal.

Click to play video: 'Alphonso Davies’ former school in Edmonton hosts World Cup watch party'
Alphonso Davies’ former school in Edmonton hosts World Cup watch party

“Fonzie, I thought he was brilliant tonight,” Herdman said after the match. “I thought he was way more disciplined. He showed courage when he needed to. I think in some of the others games we’ve had him in positions where he’s overplayed at times. But tonight I just thought he got the perfect balance.

Story continues below advertisement

“So his response (to the penalty miss) was brilliant.”

Of the Canadian starters Wednesday, Junior Hoilett has had the most success from the spot — converting three penalties for Canada. Davies has two successful spot kicks and Jonathan David one.

Some observers have wondered why David did not take the penalty.

“We had two players that were confident in doing it,” captain Atiba Hutchinson explained Thursday. “Alphonso’s taken a couple of penalties, as well as Jonathan … (meantime) John (Herdman) has left it to the players in that position with who’s ready to go.”

Hutchinson said he was close to David and Davies in the lead-up to the spot kick.

Click to play video: 'Impact of World Cup’s return'
Impact of World Cup’s return

“I don’t think it was a discussion. It was more of ‘Are you OK to take it?’ And Fonzie, he had the ball in his hand and was obviously ready for that moment. Like I said, it was just unfortunate he didn’t score. He was going up against a very good goalkeeper. Just on the day it didn’t cross the line.”

Story continues below advertisement

Courtois, who plays his club football for Real Madrid, currently holds the Yashin Award as the world’s top ‘keeper.

Canada, ranked 41st in the world, takes on No. 12 Croatia on Sunday knowing a loss will end its hopes of advancing to the knockout round. It wraps up Group F play Dec. 1 against No. 22 Morocco.

Sponsored content