World Cup Group F: Canada can use Qatar as the foundation for a new era

Hopes of advancing from tough group may be slim but the tournament will serve to boost the young team's reputation on the world stage

Alphonso Davies is one of several exciting young talents who will represent Canada at the 2022 World Cup. AFP
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Canada have made use of a promising generation to end a long absence from the World Cup.

Appearing at their first World Cup in 36 years, all focus will be on bettering their display from Mexico 1986, having lost all three group games without scoring a goal.

The Maple Leafs have much better prospects this time around, though, with Lille striker Jonathan David and Club Brugge star Cyle Larin scoring 22 goals between them in a qualifying campaign that was dominated by John Herdman’s side, finishing first ahead of World Cup regulars Mexico and USA.

A difficult group against European giants Belgium and Croatia means that the experience of their best players will be vital, with Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies' impact from the left-flank a factor that could be decisive across the tournament.

But having not faced European opposition since their 1-0 defeat against Iceland in January 2020, Canada will need to adapt quickly when they kick off their World Cup campaign against Belgium on November 23.

With many of Canada's best talents still in the early years of their careers, they come into the tournament without the pressure that other teams will be facing, and instead can utilise an opportunity to set the foundations of an era that will see Canada’s reputation grow among world football with regular appearances in major tournaments.

Manager: John Herdman

Star Player: Alphonso Davies

One to watch: Jonathan David

World Cup finals appeared in: 1986

Fixtures: Nov 23 - Belgium v Canada / Nov 27 - Croatia v Canada / Dec 1 - Canada v Morocco

Updated: September 28, 2022, 8:41 AM