Canada are eliminated at the World Cup by the experienced Croatian squad

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Canada are eliminated from the World Cup after a 4-1 loss to Croatia on Sunday at the Khalifa International Stadium.

– Report: Croatia – Canada 4:1 | News and Features | World Cup schedule

Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies scored Canada’s first World Cup goal after just 67 seconds, but Croatia made an impressive comeback thanks to two goals from Andrej Kramaric, another from Marko Livaja and a late fourth from Lovro Majer to finish Group F with a goal Game round to be played. Croatia will try to secure first place when they play Morocco, but Canada will be eliminated after their game against Belgium.

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Fast reaction

1. Canada scores first World Cup goal but goes home early

It started so well for Canada with Alphonso Davies scoring his first-ever goal for the men’s national team at a World Cup after just 67 seconds, but after being gradually picked apart by Croatia they go home early.

Canada are entertaining and have long faced two good sides in Belgium and Croatia, but they also looked like a team playing in their first World Cup since 1986. It takes time to get used to this level. After failing to score in his only World Cup appearance at Mexico 86, Davies sent the Canadian fans into the corner of the Khalifa International Stadium with the tournament’s fastest goal so far when he headed in from an inch-perfect cross from Tajon Buchanan.

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But the red shirts fell back into place at half-time after Andrej Kramaric and Marko Livaja gave Croatia a 2-1 lead. Jonathan Osorio and Ismael Kone came on at the break to give Canada a boost, but when Kramaric scored his second in the 70th minute they knew they could start packing. Substitute Lovro Majer’s convert added another insult to the injury.

Canada will, of course, be co-hosts again in 2026, while Croatia’s experienced core of Luka Modric, Dejan Lovren and Ivan Perisic will plot one last unlikely run.

2. Croatia back to its usual tournament role

Despite their remarkable run to the 2018 World Cup final, nobody really knew what to expect from Croatia in Qatar, but maybe they just like it that way. They’re a team caught between an aging golden generation – led by Modric – and a wave of new talent like 20-year-old RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol, and they’re made for some inconsistent performances.

They proved they could still take anyone with a 1-0 win against France in Paris in June, but they were weak in the opening group game against Morocco and were easily repelled by Canada through Davies’ early goal. Already in the 2018 final, they needed penalties to beat Denmark and Russia in the knockout stages.

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But despite their obvious weaknesses as a team – particularly in defense – they know exactly what it takes to progress in major tournaments and if they escape from Group F no one will want to face them in the last 16. Her run in Russia was all about finding a way to get through and it could be the same in Qatar. you have been warned

3. Disappointment for Canada but valuable experience ahead of 2026

Canada were the better side in the opening match against Belgium and had all Croatia presence here in the first 20 minutes. While John Herdman’s side will have gained many fans, they are bottom in Group F with two defeats.

In a way, it’s remarkable that they made it at all, having only been ranked 122nd by FIFA shortly after the 2014 World Cup. But they will have learned some valuable lessons before 2026, when they share hosting responsibilities with the United States and Mexico. Davies and David in particular have players with talent and skill, but to succeed at this level you also need experience and skill to handle key moments in a game, which they may have lacked during this World Cup season.

Croatia did well to minimize damage when Canada took an early lead, but when it was Croatia’s turn to step on the gas, Canada conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Had Canada been able to take the slow things and make it 1-1 at halftime, it might have been a different story.


Player Ratings

Croatia: Dominik Livakovic 6; Josip Juranovic (5th), Dejan Lovren (6th), Josko Gvardiol (7th), Borna Sosa (6th); Luka Modric (7), Marcelo Brozovic (6), Mateo Kovacic (8); Andrei Kramaric (8), Marko Livaja (7), Ivan Perisic (7).

Subtitle: Bruno Petkovic (6), Nikola Vlasic (6), Mario Pasalic (6), Mislav Orsic (6), Lovro Majer (6).

Canada: Milan Borjan 8; Alistair Johnston 6, Steven Vitoria 6, Kamal Miller 5, Richie Laryea 6; Tajon Buchanan 7, Atiba Hutchinson 5, Stephen Eustaquio 6, Alphonso Davies 7; Jonathan David6, Cyle Larin6.

Subtitle: Jonathan Osorio (6), Ismael Kone (6), Junior Hoilett (6), Lucas Cavallini (6), Samuel Adekugbe (6).


Best and worst performers

BEST: Milan Borjan, Canada

Canada’s veteran goalkeeper made a series of saves to keep the goal low.

WORST: Josip Juranovic, Croatia

Completely lost to Davies for Canada’s opening goal and was lucky to walk away with another bad error shortly after.


Highlights and notable moments

Although the result wasn’t what Canadian fans wanted, Davie’s first goal for the men’s national team at a World Cup was certainly a joy.

Judging by the celebrations in Vancouver, where Davies began his professional football career, they enjoyed it almost as much as he did.


After the game: What the players and coaches said

Quotations to follow…


Key Stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

  • Alphonso Davies: His goal after 1 minute and 7 seconds was the fastest of his career in all competitions. His previous best was 4:08 in 2017 against New York Red Bull with Vancouver.

  • Croatia have never lost in a World Cup with a half-time lead: 5-0-0 (WLD).

  • Apart from Mario Mandzukic (GS 2014 vs Cameroon), Andrej Kramaric is the only Croatian player with multi-goal games at the World Cup.

  • Ivan Perisic is the first Croatian player with 2 assists in a single World Cup game.


Next

Croatia: The Group F leaders next meet Belgium at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in a game where either side can advance or be eliminated depending on the result.

Canada: After their World Cup elimination was confirmed on Sunday, they play Morocco at the Al Thumama Stadium on Thursday for pride – and hopefully a few more goals.

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