Croatia expels Canada from Qatar with a 4-1 victory


Croatia rebounded strongly and knocked Canada out of their first World Cup finals in 36 years.

The 2018 runners-up got two goals from Andrej Kramaric on Sunday in a 4-1 win over a Canadian side who were eliminated after two games in Qatar.

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Alphonso Davies scored Canada’s first ever goals Globalism Cup goal after one minute of the match, but Marco Livaga and Lovro Mager also scored a goal for Croatia, which lost to France in the final four years ago in Russia, and opened it with a goalless draw against Morocco.

Luka Modric, the 37-year-old captain who runs the midfield for Croatia, is still looking for his first goal of the tournament in what is likely to be the World Cup final.

Croatia and Morocco, who caused another upset in this year’s tournament by beating Belgium 2-0 earlier Sunday, each have four points in Group F. Belgium have three points and still have a chance to progress.

But Canada did not take any points from their first two matches and could not advance even if they beat Morocco on Thursday in their final match. Croatia and Belgium will play at the same time.

Davies, who plays for Bayern Munich, presented a cross from Tajon Buchanan after goalkeeper Dominic Levakovic reached 1 minute, 8 seconds into the match. The goal was amidst a group of red-shirted Canadian fans chanting “Can-a-da! Canada!” At Khalifa International Stadium.

“I am disappointed in the result. It wasn’t easy,” said Davies, who saved a penalty in the opening match against Belgium. “We tried our best, we played the whole game. We are looking forward to the next match and hopefully we can get some points.”

It seemed that Kramaric scored another goal for Croatia in the 26th minute, but it was ruled out for offside. His second chance equaled about 10 minutes later, making it 1-1.

Livaja put Croatia ahead with a shot from outside the penalty area in the 44th minute, Kramaric added his second goal in the 70th minute, and Madjer scored in stoppage time.

Canada opened the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Belgium. Then, coach John Herdman caused some controversy when he narrated his post-match message to his players, using the first letter of the expletive to describe how they were going to beat Croatia.

In response, the Croatia coach responded to his English counterpart the day before the match.

“This way of grouping words is not a sign of respect,” said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic. “The way we play, the way we act and the way we respect all others are the reasons why we are worthy of respect.”

Canada was also eliminated in the group stage from the team’s only other World Cup appearance in 1986.

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