Alphonso Davies took to social media on Thursday to give a brief overview of 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 have 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 center at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in nearby Al Rayyan on Wednesday. He had a chance to score Canada’s first ever goal at the tournament in the 11th minute, but his penalty was saved by Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
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Asked by beIN Sports after the match what was going through his mind as he walked up to the penalty spot, Davies provided a more general answer.
“For me it was knowing that this is 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.
“Overall I was a 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 from Germany last Friday, although he did conduct an interview with TSN on Sunday.
Davies also shared his emotion as he made his World Cup debut.
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“It feels good,” he told BeIN, a tournament rights holder. “Stepping onto the pitch today was a dream come true for everyone in this white shirt. Playing Belgium was not easy and we took the fight to them. We knew we had to show our quality today and that’s what we did.”
And Davies shared some of coach John Herdman’s post-match comments.
“He said we just have to keep going. The easiest thing to do is to shy away from the competition. We kept fighting, we kept fighting and he just told us to keep our heads up and keep fighting.”
Davies’ penalty was one of Canada’s three shots on target. Eighteen other Canadian efforts were off the mark.
Yellow carded in the 81st minute, Davies switched from wing-back to forward as Canada chased an equaliser.
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“Fonzie, I thought he was brilliant tonight,” Herdman said after the game. “I thought he was much more disciplined. He showed courage when it was needed. I think in some of the other games we had him in positions where he sometimes overplayed. But tonight I just thought he had the perfect balance.
“His reaction (to the penalty miss) was therefore brilliant.”
Of the Canadian starters on Wednesday, Junior Hoilett had the most success from the spot – converting three penalties for Canada. Davies has two successful spot kicks and Jonathan David one.
Some observers wondered why David did not take the punishment.
“We had two players who were confident of doing it,” explained captain Atiba Hutchinson on Thursday. “Alphonso took a few penalties, as well as Jonathan … (meanwhile) John (Herdman) left it to the players in that position who are ready to go.”
Hutchinson said he was close to David and Davies in the run-up to the spot-kick.
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“I don’t think it was a discussion. It was more of ‘Are you ready to take this?’ And Fonzie, he had the ball in his hand and was obviously ready for that moment. Like I said, it was just a shame he didn’t score. He faced a very good goalkeeper. Only on the day that it didn’t cross the line.”
Courtois, who plays his club football for Real Madrid, currently holds the Yashin Award as the world’s best ‘keeper.
Canada, ranked 41st in the world, takes on No. 12 Croatia on Sunday knowing that a loss would end its hopes of advancing to the knockout round. It concludes Group F play December 1 against no. 22, Morocco.
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