Canada's World Cup dream dashed in loss to Croatia


Canada celebrated early, but tears flowed late when their dreams of reaching the World Cup knockout stage were dashed following a 4-1 loss to Croatia in Group F action At Khalifa International Stadium Sunday.

Alphonso Davies got Canada off to a thrilling start, getting on the end of a Tajon Buchanan cross with a powerful header outside the six-yard box to give Les Rouges the 1-0 lead in the second minute.

The goal was the first for the Canadian men’s national team in World Cup history and the fastest goal scored in Qatar.

Croatia thought they had the 26th-minute equalizer when Andrej Kramaric beat Milan Borjan low inside the far post. The goal was called back as Marko Livaja was ruled offside on the buildup.

However, it was just the start of what would be a Croatian surge that would only be halted by the halftime whistle.

Kramaric wouldn’t be denied 10 minutes later, leveling the match after getting a step on Atiba Hutchinson to the edge of the six-yard box and putting his attempt inside the far post.

Livaja gave Croatia the 2-1 lead in the 44th minute with a low shot from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Both teams exchanged chances two minutes apart early in the second half, but Borjan dived to his right to parry away Kramaric’s bid for a brace and then Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic tapped Jonathan David’s near equalizer just over the crossbar.

Kramaric put the finishing touches on Croatia’s win - and Canada's elimination - with his second goal in the 70th minute, though Lovro Majer tacked on a fourth goal following a critical Kamal Miller miscue in second-half stoppage time.


  • 2’ — CAN — Alphonso Davies | WATCH
  • 36’ — CRO — Andrej Kramaric | WATCH
  • 44’ — CRO — Marko Livaja | WATCH
  • 70’ — CRO — Andrej Kramaric | WATCH
  • 90’+4’ — CRO — Lovro Majer | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Canada ended a 36-year World Cup drought and proved in losses to European powerhouses Belgium and Croatia that they belong on the world stage. But they learned a valuable lesson about being more decisive in big moments — both in attack and defending — in those defeats.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It’s a goal that will be remembered forever in Canadian soccer lore. Davies delivered the moment, but unfortunately for Les Rouges it would come in a devastating defeat.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Kramaric scored twice to secure the come-from-behind win and truthfully could have added one or two more goals on the night.

Next Up 

  • CAN: Thursday, December 1 vs. Morocco | 10 am ET (FOX or FS1, Universo) | Group F
  • CRO: Thursday, December 1 vs. Belgium | 10 am ET (FOX or FS1, Telemundo) | Group F