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Winners & Losers from day 8 of the World Cup

Morocco and Costa Rica get into the win column, while Canada are left out in the cold.

Belgium v Morocco: Group F - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Pablo Morano/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Another day of men’s World Cup action, another day of surprises. Costa Rica stumped Japan, Belgium were sunk by Morocco, and Croatia hammered Canada, all before I’d even eaten breakfast. The result ended what seemed like a potential fairytale story for the Canadians, while Morocco’s win has left a very sour taste in the mouths of the Belgians. Spain and Germany played to a 1-1 draw in the final game of the day, as two teams with relatively similar approaches showed off their impressive skill and technical ability.

We’ve had some teams eliminated and a couple of teams secure their spots in the knockouts already, so let’s take a look at today’s games and get ready for the last set of games for the second round of the Group Stage.


The studio that gets to make the eventual Alphonso Davies biopic: Canada’s involvement in this men’s World Cup will officially end with the Group Stage following the 4-1 walloping they received from Croatia. John Herdman’s motivational speech proved powerful bulletin board material for their opponents, and as a result Canada’s second-ever appearance in a men’s World Cup will be short-lived. If we’ve learned anything about Alphonso Davies over the course of his young career so far, though, it’s that this should only be a bump in the road that will serve to motivate him to reach even higher heights in the future. While the disappointment may linger for a while, his goal in the 2nd minute of this match should serve as a marvelous moment of dramatic tension in the eventual movie. I can already hear the music swell as he hits the back of the net before the montage of Croatia’s comeback kicks in. It’s absolutely cinematic.

A Concacaf team. Finally: I was all but certain coming into the Japan vs. Costa Rica game that Japan were going to build off of their win against Germany and take their game to the next level. That didn’t really happen. Sure, Japan seemed to control the game as they took 13 shots to Costa Rica’s 4 (with 6 of those coming from inside the penalty area), and completed more than 3 times as many passes in Costa Rica’s half (304) as Costa Rica completed in Japan’s half (93), but the Samurai Blue’s wave after wave of attack crashed helplessly against the wall that was Los Ticos. In the end Costa Rica took advantage of their best chance (and only shot from inside the box) as fullback Keysher Fuller’s attempt couldn’t be kept out by Japan’s goalkeeper, securing Costa Rica’s first points of the tournament and the first win for a Concacaf team in the tournament.


Eden Hazard: Hazard was critical of Germany’s players making a symbolic gesture of covering their mouths in a team photo ahead of their loss in the first round of games to Japan, echoing the sentiment of so many in the past who have suggested athletes should “stick to sports.” Presumably, then, Hazard was focused on nothing but Belgium’s game against Morocco, and it still didn’t help. Kevin de Bruyne suggested after the game that Belgium’s team is simply too old, which includes himself and Hazard, both 31, and he might have a point. Hazard was part of the first group of substitutions in the game at the 60 minute mark and had a pretty limited impact during his time on the pitch.

Croatian fans that harassed Milan Borjan: If you don’t know, the starting goalkeeper for the CanMNT, Milan Borjan, was born a Croatian Serb in the Croatian town of Knin in 1987. His family fled the country in 1995 during the Croatian War of Independence before eventually immigrating to Canada. Well, Croatian fans knew, and apparently his personal cell phone number got spread around on the internet resulting in his phone being swamped with abusive and insulting messages. There were also fans positioned behind the goal with a flag insulting him; it’s all pretty not great. This is a lot worse than banter, and while there was certainly no love lost between the two teams or fans before or after the game, this is beyond the bounds of sports. This sucks.

Storylines to watch on Day 9

2:00 AM Cameroon vs. Serbia: Nouhou Watch is back on. If you’re staying up late or rising early, this has to be the only reason for doing it, unless you’re Cameroonian or Serbian, obviously. This is Cameroon’s best chance of getting a win in the tournament, as Brazil’s seemingly got a point to prove. Nouhou’s likely assignment will be limiting left wingback Andrija Zivkovic’s ability to provide service from out wide.

Watch the game on FS1, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

5:00 AM Korea Republic vs. Ghana: Ghana will probably be hoping for a little less excitement than their first game offered, while South Korea will be hoping for a little more. With Portugal the only team on 3 points in Group H heading into the second round of games, a win would be huge for both teams, but especially Korea, who still have Portugal to come in their final Group Stage game. Can Son Heung-min provide some heroics?

Watch the game on FS1, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

8:00 AM Brazil vs. Switzerland: Neymar is out for this one, so can Richarlison keep up the performance he put in against Serbia and carry the team forward? I’m guilty of suggesting that this Brazil team is likely to go as far as Neymar can take them, but this game could really hammer home how wrong that take was. On the flip side, MLS star Xherdan Shaqiri is probably going to need to provide even more wizardry than he did against Cameroon if Switzerland are going to stop the Samba.

Watch the game on Fox, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

11:00 AM Portugal vs. Uruguay: I feel like this game is probably going to be decided by which team can change the game with substitutions and adjustments, and so Portugal’s ability to bring Rafael Leão off the bench is probably going to be the difference maker. Both of these teams have old dudes that they’d probably rather not be in a position to start, but alas, this is where we find ourselves in the year 2022. Even the most likely replacement for Luis Suarez (who has 3 total goals this calendar year) is another old guy, Édinson Cavani. It’s not an ideal situation, but at least they can reasonably rely on those guys to give everything they can for the team.

Watch the game on Fox, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

You can catch replays of all games in English on or Spanish on Peacock 30 minutes after the final whistle.

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