Soccer News: Alderweireld admits Belgium ‘needs to get better’ despite Canada win

    Defender Toby Alderweireld says Belgium “need to improve” if they have a realistic chance of success at the 2022 World Cup.

    It was Alderweireld’s long pass that created the only goal of the game for Michy Batshuayi as Belgium struggled to make significant headway against a sporty and well-prepared team from Canada.

    Alphonso Davies saw Red Devils goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois save a penalty and Canada also squandered plenty of first-half chances as Belgium held on to a precious win and quickly advanced to the top of Group F.

    Alderweireld said: “We didn’t play our best but we fought hard, especially in the second half, and it’s better to improve with three points in hand than no points.

    “We didn’t have good ball possession, we didn’t create the right space, and in the second half we could have hurt them a lot more. Our last pass should be much better.

    “The first step is to pass, but we need to get better.”

    Alderweireld’s sentiment was echoed by fellow defender Timothy Castagne, who felt that Canada’s fearless approach made them tricky opponents.

    The Leicester City defender said: “We expected it, it’s not easy to play against us.

    “We tried to get through them, but could not find free people. When we did it, we had some good chances, but we couldn’t convert them.

    “We can thank Thibault for keeping us in the game in the first half. After that, we defended quite a lot together, which wasn’t always our forte, so it’s good.”

    As Argentina and Germany had already lost in Qatar to unexpected opponents, Castagne was simply pleased that Belgium had not joined the ranks of the defeated favorites, adding: “If you win, you will gain confidence, even if it was not our best game.

    “Some big teams have lost, so it’s good to start with good points.”

    While Belgium felt relieved, it was a night of pride and disappointment for Canada. They came out with huge credit inspired by head coach John Herdman’s shrewd leadership, but will regret their extravagance in front of the net.

    Defender Stephen Vitoria said: “We deserved better against a world class team. When we play like this, we will be much closer to winning than anything else. It was a fantastic performance, but at this level you have to win.

    “The intention is to be fearless on the biggest stage, this is the new Canada and we have made this statement to the world. But no excuses, we are here to win and we are not satisfied.”

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