Match Today: Morocco vs Canada 01-12-2022 Qatar World Cup 2022
Canada's return to the World Cup will end in the group stage, even as they prepare to face Morocco in the final round of Group F matches. Four points and you only need a tie to move on to the next round.
The Atlas Lions can finish top of the group with a win coupled with Croatia's failure to beat Belgium. If both Morocco and Croatia win, goal difference, goals scored and fair play points will be used to determine the group winner in that order. Moroccans can find themselves affected if they lose, if Croatia defeats Belgium or if Morocco's margin of defeat is not greater than a goal or two if the other match ends in a draw. Meanwhile, Canada, not yet having a point in this group, is eliminated standing and entering this game down the pond. For Morocco and the two other countries still in contention, this remains a narrow group, and therefore difficult to describe.
Morocco vs Canada
While Canada should have made an ideal start to this competition, a penalty saved by Alphonso Davies early in their match against Belgium was the start of their troubles and plenty of missed chances combined with poor defense didn't help their cause. As it stands, they can only begin preparations for the 2026 World Cup, which they will co-host. They started well against Croatia, with Davies scoring their first World Cup goal. Their lead only lasted half an hour and they went into the second half trailing 2-1, before eventually losing 4-1. This was their third defeat in five matches and they failed to keep a leaf in those five matches. The loss to Croatia was the third time in five matches that they had conceded two or more goals. Canada did well in the CONCACAF qualifiers for this competition, but after that the competition wasn't great.
Coming into this fixture, they have now lost five times in their last seven competitive matches. It won't be a great run against Morocco, a team that has gone seven games unbeaten and kept six clean sheets in a row. Morocco has also scored two or more goals in five of those seven matches, although five of the last six matches have scored less than 2.5 goals. They have a great balance of defense and offense, as we've seen in this competition so far. While their 2-0 win over Belgium was their first in a World Cup since beating Scotland 3-0 in France 1998, they went into this match unbeaten in three World Cup matches. Morocco, which has already withstood difficult teams, will want to make it easier for the already eliminated Canada.
Canada vs Morocco
Morocco has not lost in seven matches. Morocco has six consecutive clean sheets. Morocco has scored two or more goals in five of their last seven matches. Canada has lost three of its last five matches. Canada has conceded two or more goals in three of their last five matches. Canada has not managed a clean sheet in their last five matches.
Canada has five losses in seven competitive matches. Canada were naive in defense and were matched by a ruthless Croatia in the last match. Perhaps they will want to reward goalkeeper Milan Borgan with another start after saving them from what could have been a huge humiliation. The keeper made a number of great shots to keep Canada in the game and he should keep his spot. Alphonso Davies scored his first World Cup goal and was their standout player, with the exception of a missed penalty in their first match. He has offered plenty of options up front and John Herdman might consider starting him in a more senior role.
Meanwhile, 39-year-old Atiba Hutchinson could feel the pressure of starting a third game in a row and is a candidate for a swap with Ismail Kony, who has twice entered as a substitute despite his immense talent and young age. Junior Howlett started off the bench in the last game and could be a key player here. For its part, Morocco announced that goalkeeper Yassine Bounou is fit enough for this match, after he withdrew from the starting line-up late before the match against Belgium. He felt dizzy and was immediately replaced by Munir Muhammad, but he managed to regain his place here. Noussair Mazraoui's fitness was confirmed late in the last match and the Bayern Munich player will be in contention to feature in this match as well.