QATAR – Coach John Herdman boldly claimed that Canada, who had yet to win a World Cup game or even score a goal, would “eff” Croatia as the 2018 champions following a defeat to Belgium in the tournament’s opening match.
In the end, Croatia showed who effed who as they beat the 12th-ranked Croatians 4 to 1 on Sunday. Andrej Kramaric, who scored two goals in the game, summarized the outcome.
Herdman refused to back down, admitting grudgingly that he should have been a little more polite but otherwise refusing to apologize for his inflammatory words, which made a commotion in Croatia. Canada may have been humiliated, but Herdman remained unconvinced.
When asked if he regretted making his remarks, Herdman responded, “Not at all. “There is respect for Croatia there.
“We’re here to work as a unit to move as far as we can.
“Coming out of the tunnel, I could have been a little calmer, but that’s something I’m learning.
“I’ll take it in stride, but from a mentality standpoint, I believe we showed in those first 25 minutes that little ol’ Canada can hold its own against the best in the world.
We proved our ability to compete.
Canada traveled to Qatar with several goals in mind, and on Sunday, they achieved one of those goals. This was Canada’s second World Cup appearance overall and their first in 36 years. Just over a minute into the match, Alphonso Davies scored Canada’s first-ever goal in a men’s World Cup with a header.
As a result of consecutive losses to Belgium and Croatia, Canada is unable to advance to the knockout round of the tournament. However, their final match against Morocco on Thursday will offer one last chance to record a first victory before sharing the hosting duties for the 2026 World Cup with the United States and Mexico.
“We have a big game against Morocco coming up, a crucial game for Canada in that there is a lot for us to play for,” said Herdman. “We came here to make history, and in the first game, they proved their mettle by displaying their fearlessness.
“In the second game, they declared their desire to score goals; yet, even if they had been enough to win the game, we would not have received three points.
“Winning for Canada and obtaining a result are the goals of this final game.”
For the 2026 World Cup, which Canada will co-host with the United States and Mexico, Herdman noted that the nation must also demonstrate that it is moving in the “correct path.”