Canada coach backs Davies after 2022 penalty

Canada coach backs Davies after 2022 penalty

Canada coach John Herdman backed the decision to let Alphonso Davies take a crucial missed penalty after the North Americans suffered an agonizing 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Wednesday. -finalists in a pulsating battle of Group F.

The Bayern Munich star has little experience with spot-kicking, having his tame nineth-minute effort saved comfortably by Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

A disappointed Davies hasn’t stopped to talk to reporters since the loss.

Canada coach’s response

Herdman said Canada’s team “brotherhood” had trusted Davies to take the kick in what was Canada’s first World Cup match since 1986.

“When you have an $85 million player with that kind of swagger, let him get the ball and get it,” Herdman told reporters.

“It was a great moment. We were waiting to get that first goal. I’m proud of Phonzy, he picked up the ball.

“It’s a big moment, it’s carrying the weight of a nation and 36 years of waiting.”

The missed penalty proved costly, with Canada leaving a number of other missed chances as Belgium managed a 1–0 win.

However, England manager Herdman, the first man to coach a team at both the men’s and women’s World Cups, was proud of his team’s performance.

“Can’t complain too much, sometimes it’s your night and sometimes it’s not.

“They proved tonight that they belong here,” Herdman said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been back.

“I’m sure they (the fans) walked away proud and feel like we are a footballing nation.”

Canada will now be aiming for positive results against Croatia and Morocco in Group F to have any chance of progressing to the next round. Croatia and Morocco drew 0-0 on Wednesday.

“I think this group stage is completely open now after the Croatia-Morocco result,” said Herdman.

However Herdman acknowledged that after Canada’s impressive opening performance, their opponents would have been better prepared.

“Now the teams will get to know us. With the cover down, the teams will know what we do. Now we will face Croatia, who have a midfield three to die for,” she said.

“If we can be more ruthless in attack we will get something out of these matches. The group is open”.

Canada captain Atiba Hutchinson insisted all is not lost as his side looked ahead to Sunday’s match against Croatia.

“It’s a tough match, but today we showed what we’re capable of, so we’ll come in again with the same mentality and hopefully get a better result.”

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