Belgium spoils Canada's return with 1-0 win
Kevin De Bruyne threw his hands up in disgust as another pass went astray. Eden Hazard was easily knocked off the ball. Michy Batshuayi was hauled off by his angry coach after a lazy flick to no one at all.
Belgium didn’t live up to the hype of being the second-ranked team despite starting the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Canada on Wednesday. Thibaut Courtois saved an early penalty and Batshuayi scored the only goal to spoil the North American team’s return to the tournament after 36 years.
Aside from the result, there was little for the Belgians to celebrate, with De Bruyne mocking the decision to name him player of the match. “No, I don’t think I played a great game,” De Bruyne said.
Canada captain Atiba Hutchinson, at the age of 39, became the oldest outfield player to start a World Cup match.
The referee was Janny Sikazwe of Zambia, who made headlines at the African Cup of Nations in January by blowing to end a match after about 85 minutes. In the Belgium-Canada game, he played five minutes of stoppage time in each half.