PLAYER RATINGS | Croatia 4-1 Canada – Naive but fun Canadians exit outclassed

Despite a fast start from Canada, Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies’ powerful header giving John Herdman’s side a second-minute lead, Croatia ran out deserved 4-1 winners in Doha to end Canada’s hopes of making the last 16 in their first World Cup since 1986. Croatia slowly grew into the game and deservedly equalised via Andrej Kramarić before Marko Livaja fired home from just outside the box for 2-1 just before halftime. Kramarić added a third after the break and, despite Canada’s continued positivity, Croatia might have added to their lead before Lovro Majer’s injury-time fourth rounded out a simple win.

Key Performers:
Mateo Kovačić, 7 – Ran the game for long periods, especially before half time, as Croatia grew into the game after Canada barrelled out of their blocks to score early. Exchanging passes with Luka Modric and with Marcelo Brozović in reserve, Kovačić was able to break lines and exploit the space in midfield as his team’s key creator.

Andrej Kramarić, 7 – The cutting edge this Croatia side desperately needs. A snap reverse shot across Borjan provided an equaliser before he swept home the third to seal the win. The introduction of partner-in-crime Livaja from the start and a more positive Kovačić in midfield created the space and chances the often clinical Bundesliga striker.

Jonathan David, 3 – Despite being party to some of Canada’s snappy link-up play in both games so far, the Lille man was often frustratingly ponderous despite picking up some promising positions. Seemingly a little overwhelmed by the World Cup in general, he was oddly passive for long periods here.

CROATIA – 4 (Kramarić 36, 70, Livaja 44, Majer 93)
Dominik Livaković, 6
Josip Juranović, 6
Dejan Lovren, 5
Joško Gvardiol, 5
Borna Sosa, 5
Marcelo Brozović, 6
Luka Modrić, 6
Mateo Kovačić, 7
Andrej Kramarić, 7
Marko Livaja, 6
Ivan Perišić, 6
Others: Petković 5, Majer 6, Oršić 5, Pašalić 5, Vlašić 5.

CANADA – 1 (Davies 2)
Milan Borjan, 6
Alistair Johnston, 3
Steven Vitória, 4
Kamal Miller, 3
Richie Laryea, 4
Tajon Buchanan, 7
Atiba Hutchinson, 4
Stephen Eustáquio, 4
Alphonso Davies, 6
Jonathan David, 3
Cyle Larin, 4
Others: Koné 4, Osorio 5, Hoilett 6, Cavallini 4, Adekugbe 4.

World Cup 2022, Group F, 27/11/22


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