Osorio Can Morocco

Canada took a few more lumps on their way out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, falling 2-1 to Morocco to finish the tournament with three losses in as many matches.

With nothing more but pride to play for in Thursday's Group F finale at Al Thumama Stadium, Les Rouges let the big stage get to them early on. A poor backpass from Steven Vitória for Milan Borjan forced the goalkeeper into a panicked clearance that rolled right to Hakim Ziyech, who gave the African side a 1-0 lead at the 4-minute mark with an open-netter from distance.

Things went from bad to worse for John Herdman's side in the 23rd minute, as Youssef En-Nesyri outpaced two defenders on a long-range service from Achraf Hakimi before beating Borjan at the near post.

Canada refused to give up, chipping away and pulling one back five minutes before the break. After a nice run down the left side, Sam Adekugbe – one of four changes in the Starting XI along with Toronto FC duo Jonathan Osorio and Mark-Anthony Kaye - sent in a low cross that deflected off Nayef Aguerd for an own-goal.

Morocco were more than happy to cede the initiative to their opponent during the final 45 minutes. Second-half substitute and captain Atiba Hutchinson almost made them pay for it by crashing a header off the crossbar, with the ball failing to cross the entire goal line by a matter of centimeters.

The Atlas Lions were able to hold on to the 2-1 result to finish atop Group F with seven points. Croatia came in second and also advanced to the Round of 16 with to a 0-0 draw against Belgium in the other Group F matchday 3 contest.

After falling to Belgium (1-0) and Croatia (4-1) in their previous matches, Canada dropped their final decision and leave Qatar empty-handed, but with some valuable lessons learned.

Goals

  • 4’ — MOR — Hakim Ziyech | WATCH
  • 23’ — MOR — Youssef En-Nesyri | WATCH
  • 40’ — CAN — Nayef Aguerd (OG)  | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: 36 years later, Canada depart another World Cup with three straight losses. But this time feels different. This is a young, exciting squad that topped Concacaf qualifying and showed the entire planet they could hold their own in one of the toughest groups of the tournament. And they'll be back – only slightly older, yet much wiser – as co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If anything can kill a team's momentum, it's conceding an early goal. When said goal is also a bonafide howler, it's nearly impossible to recover from. Canada had the wind taken out of them as soon as Ziyech's open-net shot hit the back of the net.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Ziyech set the tone early with a fourth-minute goal and could've had a brace, if not for a close offside call denying him right before halftime. It was a redemptive performance from the 29-year-old Ajax star, who not so long ago was on the outside looking in of his national team and is now headed to the World Cup knockout stages.

Next Up

  • CAN: End of tournament 
  • MOR: Tuesday, December 6 vs. Group E 2nd place | 10 am ET (FOX or FS1, Telemundo) | Round of 16