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It was a second that may go down in Canadian soccer historical past.
The nation’s star participant Alphonso Davies leapt excessive into the Doha sky to meet Tajon Buchanan’s excellent cross and energy in a header to develop into the primary man to rating for the Maple Leafs at a World Cup.
The opener towards Croatia got here simply 68 seconds into the sport and despatched the North American aspect’s supporters into raptures inside Khalifa International Stadium.
Boss John Herdman stated afterwards: “It was a nice begin and a proud second for the followers in the stadium and other people again house. We acquired to have fun one thing we’ve got been ready for a very long time.”
But 2018 finalists Croatia didn’t learn the script as they hit back to win 4-1 and finish Canadian desires by sending them out of the match following back-to-back defeats.
‘He’s unimaginable, Canada’s Gareth Bale’
Winger Davies’ title will likely be etched ceaselessly in Canadian folklore as the person who scored their first World Cup goal in their fifth sport – and following 50 missed makes an attempt.
His again story is one in every of unimaginable resilience which has seen the 22-year-old expertise a meteoric rise.
Born in a refugee camp in Ghana in 2000, Davies’ mother and father fled civil conflict in Liberia and moved to Canada as refugees when he was aged 5.
But he now performs for Bayern Munich – one in every of Europe’s largest sides – after the Bundesliga champions paid a then-Major League Soccer document £9.84m to signal him from Vancouver Whitecaps as a 17-year-old in 2018.
Former England defender Martin Keown stated on BBC One: “Alphonso Davies’ tempo is beautiful. When he wins the ball he travels with such tempo. I’ve seen him play centre-forward for Canada. They see him as their Gareth Bale.
“Davies actually is an unimaginable participant. Canada simply want two or three of him on the pitch.”
Canada have 4 years to unearth some extra gamers of Davies’ high quality earlier than they co-host the 2026 match alongside the USA and Mexico.
Boss Herdman stated: “We have younger lads who’ve grown up via Canada and so they confirmed they’ll compete.
“These gamers can actually imagine they’re in the suitable route for 2026.”
Davies, although, might really feel a sense of remorse. Despite scoring the quickest goal of this World Cup to date towards Croatia, his missed penalty towards Belgium at 0-0 in the opener proved essential as Canada went on to lose 1-0.
They spherical off Group F towards unbeaten Morocco subsequent Thursday, hoping they’ll finish this marketing campaign on a excessive as they appear ahead to the subsequent one.