This week, the 2022 FIFA World Cup ended in disappointment for Canada, who lost to Morocco in their final game on December 1. The Canadian team lost all three games in the group stage and is heading home at the bottom of their group — a replica of their results in 1986. The loss against Morocco is disappointing for Canadian fans but not entirely unexpected, considering Morocco finished at the top of the group. 

Canada went down by two goals early in the game and, despite rallying in the second half, couldn’t complete a comeback. Morocco pulled off their first goal because of two Canadian players. Defender Steven Vitoria played a poor back pass, putting his keeper, Milan Borjan, in a tough spot. Unfortunately, Borjan passed the ball directly to Moroccan Hakim Ziyech, who calmly chipped the ball into the Canadian net. 

In the 23rd minute, a long ball released Moroccan attacker Youssef En-Nesyri, who beat Borjan at his near post to double Morocco’s lead. Canadian defenders should have done better defending the run by En-Nesyri — both goals by Morocco were preventable.

Canada looked much livelier after a formation switch in the middle of the first half moved Alphonso Davies back to a more natural position on the left side after starting the game on the right. Soon after, Canadian Sam Adekugbe beat his defender down the left wing and played a low cross into the box, which was deflected by a defender and ended up in the Moroccan net, bringing Canada within one goal. Canada’s Ismael Kone, Atiba Hutchinson, and Jonathan David entered the game in the 60th minute and further pivoted the game in Canada’s favour. Along with Jonathan Osorio, Kone and Hutchinson controlled the midfield for Canada. This led to some good chances for Canada, including an Hutchinson’s header that nearly crossed the line after hitting the crossbar. While Canada couldn’t draw to get that elusive point from this game, they showed a good fight throughout the final two thirds of the game. 

Canada showed they could compete amongst the world’s best throughout this tournament. The team is still young, and as one of the co-hosts in 2026, Canada will set its sights on success in that tournament. Going forward, the most important step for Canada is getting more players in Europe, especially in the top five leagues. The Canadian team was humbled in this tournament, but this experience could feed future successes.