Vancouver followers watch Canada’s 1st World Cup match since ’86

Some Canadian soccer followers in Vancouver lined up within the chilly outdoors bars and eating places almost two hours earlier than kickoff to verify they bought good tables for the nation’s opening match on the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Once inside, they warmed up by belting out the nationwide anthem earlier than watching the sport on the sting of their seats.

“Oh my god. This was wonderful. We had been there in ’86 and sadly we did not rating any targets,” mentioned fan Jody House, who watched the sport at The Pint downtown.

“It’s phenomenal to be right here right now.”

Canada had their work reduce out for them in opposition to Belgium, the number-two-ranked workforce on the planet.

It didn’t take lengthy after kickoff for the primary of many “hold your breath” moments.

After video assessment confirmed a Belgian participant dedicated a handball contained in the 18-yard field, former Vancouver Whitecap Alphonso Davies lined up over the ball for a penalty shot.

Davies blasted a shot in direction of the decrease left nook, however Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois lunged to make the save.

“Ninety per cent of the time that goes in. We had been the ten per cent,” mentioned Canada fan Shayne Grimmer, who additionally watched the sport at The Pint.

“But they bounced again and so they saved taking part in laborious and so they did not let that get to them.”

Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi took a move deep in Canadian territory late within the first half and chipped the ball previous goalie Milan Borjan for the sport’s solely purpose.

“In phrases of a loss, that is as thrilling because it will get,” mentioned fan Aiden Steinke, who watched the sport alongside Grimmer.

“We had a lot of the ball your complete sport. We had a number of possibilities. But it is irritating.”

In a post-match interview, Canadian head coach John Herdman mentioned he was pleased with his workforce’s efficiency.

“It’s how we reply now. With that perception and we maintain the brotherhood tight … we have got an opportunity,” he mentioned.

It’s a sentiment shared by followers in Vancouver, who’ve waited a era for this second and are already trying ahead to the subsequent match.

“Why not Canada against anyone else in this tournament? I really believe we can make some magic happen,” said Grimmer, surrounded by fellow Canada supporters. “Let’s just do it. We’re all together. Let’s go on the journey together.”

Canada’s subsequent match is Sunday in opposition to Croatia at 8 a.m., Pacific time.  

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