Thibaut Courtois spares Belgium’s blushes in narrow 1-0 win over Canada, while Youri Tielemans and Axel Witsel both had poor nights in midfield: PLAYER RATINGS after Roberto Martinez’s men laboured to opening World Cup victory

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  • Belgium beat Canada 1-0 in their World Cup opener
  • Micky Batshuayi scored what proved to be the winning goal on the stroke of half-time
  • But his opener came at the end of Canada’s half of dominance in Qatar
  • Stephen Eustaquio and Richie Laria were particularly influential to him.
  • Alphonso Davies gave him a chance to fire ahead from the penalty spot
  • Thibaut Courtois had to save Belgium with some crucial saves in goal
  • Click here for latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

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Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal in a narrow 1-0 win over Canada on Wednesday to give Belgium a winning start at the Qatar World Cup.

At the end of a half dominated by their opponents, Roberto Martinez’s side took the lead against the run of play when Batshua latched onto a pass from Toby Alderweireld and fired the ball home from close range.

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It was a huge blow for Canada when Thibaut Courtois put down Alphonso Davies from the penalty spot, and in the end they failed to find an all-important equaliser, after they failed to open the scoring.

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The North American side can still be proud of their first-half performance, while Belgium will have work to do to go far in the tournament. This way sportsmailGerry Cox rated both sets of players at Al Ryan.

Belgium beat Canada 1-0 in their World Cup opener on Wednesday.

Belgium (3-4-3)

Thibaut Courtois Canada’s sloppy finishing meant they didn’t have to make too many saves, but they all counted, including a penalty save in the 10th minute and excellent stops from Johnson and Larrin. 9

leander dendonkar Rarely looked comfortable against Canada’s pace and made mistakes. A De Bruyne free-kick headed in in the closing stages. 6

Toby Alderweireld Brilliant long pass forward to set up Batshuayi for the opener. Always had to be prompt with David, but his experience showed 7

jan vertonghen Gave him a torrid time in the early stages but calmed down as usual and made some crucial interceptions 7

Thibaut Courtois had to save Belgium with some crucial saves between the sticks

Thibaut Courtois had to save Belgium with some crucial saves between the sticks

timothy castagne Started wide on the right and then switched to left back in the second half, but rarely came into play. a peripheral figure. 6

axel witsel Never looked entirely comfortable at the base of midfield, and threw the ball away a lot. not at their best 6

Yuri Tielemans A surprisingly equal performance from the Leicester midfielder and no wonder he was replaced at half-time 6

Yannick Carrasco Early penalty conceded and booked for handball, never really got going and was replaced by Meunier at half-time. 6

Eden Hazard Was good when he was on the ball, but it wasn’t often enough. The players still have the potential to go, but it looks like injuries have slowed them down a bit. changed at 62 minutes 7

Kevin De Bruyne Some lovely driving runs from deep but often the last pass or shot came to nothing. Batshuayi failed to control that floated in a right cross 7

mitchie batsuyi Matchwinner, and took his goal in fine form with a first time finish, but was otherwise listless, failing to make the most of several chances. Not as effective as Lukaku. 7

Youri Tielemans surprisingly below-par performance in the middle of the park

Youri Tielemans surprisingly below-par performance in the middle of the park

Michy Batshuayi scores the winning goal at the end of a difficult first half for Belgium

Michy Batshuayi scores the winning goal at the end of a difficult first half for Belgium

substitute player

thomas meunier Carrasco was booked for 46 for catching Hoilett with an outstretched arm. 6

amadou onana Tielemans was also booked for 46 using a handhold on Eustaquio inside ten minutes. 6

leandro trossard Had a late chance on 62 for Hazard but overran the ball. 6

openda law Batshuayi had a half chance in the closing stages for the 78 6

Canada (3-4-2-1)

milan borjan There were no chances with Batsui’s goal, and no other goals were to be scored to save O’Note. Slight danger of overplaying the ball with his feet at times. 7

Richie Larrea Strong down the right wing, four good chances and one brilliant tackle to stop Batsui in his tracks. 8

Richie Laria (left) put in a strong performance at right-back for Canada on the night

Richie Laria (left) put in a strong performance at right-back for Canada on the night

Kamal Miller Brilliant block to deny Batshuayi in the first half, brilliant tackle on the same player midway through the second half 7

steven victoria The veteran centre-back kept Batsui calm for most of the game, an impressive presence. 7

alistair johnson If a stinging shot had been well saved by Courtois, the free-kick would have been needlessly overhit. Always eager to get ahead of the right back. booked 7

Alphonso Davis Brilliant on the ball, but if his weak penalty had gone in it could have made all the difference. Switched from left wing to right after an hour, but threw the ball away too many times. booked 7

Stephen Eustaquio Nutmeg de Bruyn, always lively, before crossing for a missed golden chance by David 8

atiba hutchinson Besitkas man kept the midfield ticking and got forward several times. Substituted by Kaye at the hour mark. 6

Alphonso Davies played brilliantly but regretted his penalty miss in the first half

Alphonso Davies played brilliantly but regretted his penalty miss in the first half

It was a weak effort from Davies that could have given Canada an early lead in the game

It was a weak effort from Davies that could have given Canada an early lead in the game

Stefan Eustaquio was always lively during a spirited display from the beaten side

Stefan Eustaquio was always lively during a spirited display from the beaten side

Tajan Buchanan Morey His goalbound shot for the penalty was handled by Carrasco. Otherwise useless, with one shot going up in the stands. 6

junior hoylett Never stopped running and running, and repeatedly opened up the Belgian defence, but his final decision-making was questionable. Replaced by Larin. 7

jonathan david Caused the Belgian defense problems with his pace but missed the target when it mattered, sending the header high and wide either side of the break 6

substitute player

kyle laryn 58 for Hoilet saved a header and put over another in the closing minutes 6

ismail koan 58 Shadow De Bruyne sent off for Hutchinson 6

sam adekugbe Left side game saw for Laria 72 6

Jonathan Osorio Eustaquio sent on as fresh leg in midfield for 81 6

liam miller 81 Little impact for Buchanan from former Liverpool trainee 6

Ref: Jeannie Sikzwe (Zambia) Let play go on but Canada’s penalty required VAR to identify handball 6

Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /

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