The 2022 FIFA World Cup continues without hiccups, with teams like the Netherlands, England, Brazil, France, and Portugal securing their last-16 qualifications. The Netherlands qualified for the round after punishing the hosts, Qatar, 2-0 at the Al Bayt Stadium. Following the results, Qatar becomes the first World Cup host nation to finish the group stages without a single point.
Another team that is yet to collect a point is Canada. After their spirited show against Belgium, much was expected in the second group match against Croatia. Unfortunately, Canada didn’t show up, allowing the experienced Croatia side to put four goals past Milan Borjan.
The Canadian side started the match brightly, with Alphonso Davies scoring the stooping header after just 2 minutes into the game. The goal by Bayern Munich’s left back was the country’s first goal at the competition and the midfielder’s first ever at the World Cup stage. But that did little to prevent the North Americans from exiting the tournament.
Canada will have themselves to blame after Alphonso Davies missed a spot kick in their 1-0 loss to the Red Devils. Scoring the penalty might have secured a draw, meaning Canada would still be in contention for a last-16 spot. But as it stands, the Canadian side will play for their pride in the last Group F match against Morocco on Thursday at the Al Thumama stadium.
Canada will head into the Thursday duel with nothing to lose, making them a tricky opponent. With a ticket back home assured, the team will want to close their hot-and-cold campaign on a high by bagging the three points against the in-form Morocco.
However, Canada might find it tough to contend with the sea of green and red as Morocco will likely give everything in this game. The African side shocked the world after beating an uninspiring Belgian side 2-0 to boost their chances of qualifying for the last 16 rounds.
Morocco took the lead via a free kick from Abdelhamid Sabiri in the 73rd minute. As the Red Devils continued to ramp up pressure in the final 20 minutes, Rakaria Aboukhlal sealed the win for Walid Regragui’s side to give them their third-ever win at the World Cup.
The result places Morocco second in Group F, with only a single goal difference separating them from table-topping Croatia. If Morocco beats Canada and Belgium gets something from their next match, Morocco will top the group, much to the surprise of many. Now you know why their game against Canada is do-or-die.
In an interview, the Canadian boss, John Herdman, said Canada is at the World Cup to make history. The gaffer said their last game against Morocco would be about getting results and winning for Canada. Herdman looks to assure the country that they are on the right trajectory for the 2026 competition to be hosted jointly by the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Following this statement, expect Herdman to field a strong squad against Morocco. However, the team might need some fresh legs for this face-saving encounter. Expect the 39-year-old Atiba Hutchinson to make way for Ismael Kone, who has had two substitute appearances in the competition. Cyle Larin may also return in the left-back position, with Alphonso Davies moving further up the field to supply Jonathan David.
As for Morocco, first-team keeper, Yassine Bounou, is expected to make a comeback after missing the last match through illness. Full-back, Naussair Mazraoui, is also likely to be sharp for the crucial encounter after limping off against Croatia. But all in all, the sides are expected to remain unchanged from their last match.
It will be surprising to see Canada coming out with anything from this encounter. Morocco is an organized side that doesn’t depend on star players. Their excellent work rate and teamwork might earn them all three points and top the group if Belgium wins or draws against Croatia. They can also try to bag as many goals as possible and beat Croatia for the top spot on goal difference.
So, what can punters expect to win at some fast payout online casinos and sportsbooks? Bet365, one of the biggest betting brands internationally, gives Morocco a tantalizing 2.10 odds, whereas Canada is the underdog with 3.50. The bookmaker also offers 3.40 odds for a tie.
888sport Canada doesn’t disagree much with Bet365. The reputable bookmaker rates Canada’s chances of winning the match at 3.50 odds. However, the odds for Morocco are slightly higher at 2.15, with 3.30 odds for a tie. It’s all for Morocco to lose!