Belgium vs Canada LIVE: World Cup 2022 team news and line-ups from encounter in Group F

Belgium vs Canada LIVE: World Cup 2022 team news and line-ups from encounter in Group F

Updated: 2 months, 16 days, 41 minutes, 47 seconds ago

Belgium’s World Cup 2022 campaign kicks off with a Group F clash against Canada this evening as manager Roberto Martinez looks to lead his side further than their third place finish in Russia four years ago. This tournament may represent a final chance for Belgium’s golden generation to lift a major trophy as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Romelu Lukaku are all included in the squad.

The Red Devils are heavy favourites to progress out of the group which also features Morocco and Croatia – who played out a goalless draw this morning – and they will want to start with a win over surprising qualifiers Canada tonight.

Canada make their first appearance at a World Cup since 1986 following a brilliant qualifying campaign under manager John Herdman but are huge underdogs in Qatar. They topped the table in CONCACAF qualifying, ahead of Mexico and USA, with Cyle Larin scoring 13 goals throughout the campaign finishing as the top scorer. However, star player Alphonso Davies is an injury doubt and may not feature in the country’s biggest game for 36 years.

Belgium, ranked second in the world, also have some injury concerns. Lukaku is out due to a thigh injury and there are doubts over Thomas Meunier due to the broken cheekbone and Jan Vertonghen who has been carrying a knock.

Follow all the action from Qatar with our live blog below:

Belgium vs Canada

Belgium’s World Cup 2022 campaign starts against Canada in a 7pm kick off at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium

Roberto Martinez’s side are aiming to beat their third place finish in Russia 2018

Belgium team news: Romelu Lukaku will miss the game for Belgium

Canada team news: Alphonso Davies passed medical test over hamstring issue

Belgium - Canada

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:28 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Spain’s centre-back pair of Aymeric Laporte and Rodri are pushing up to the halfway line with they are in possession. It’s like watching Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at times.

This has been one of the most one-sided affairs of the tournament so far.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:25 , Michael Jones

63 mins: Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are the two men taken off in order for Balde and Koke to come on. Both men will play crucial roles for Spain’s next match against the Germans - who have to win - so they’re given a rest for the final half an hour or so.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:23 , Michael Jones

60 mins: Alejandro Balde and Koke are ready to come for Spain as well.

This game is now a matter of how many they want to score. With Germany still to come in the group qualification may come down to goal difference so Luis Enrique will be encouraging his players to keep attacking.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:20 , Michael Jones

57 mins: That fourth goal signals the time for a change from Luis Enrique. Alvaro Morata and Carlos Soler are introduced to replace Ferran Torres and Pedri.

GOAL! Spain 4-0 Costa Rica (Ferran, 54’)⚽️

17:15 , Michael Jones

54 mins: Two for Ferran Torres! Four for Spain! The goals keep on coming.

Gavi makes a run out to the right wing as the ball is sent down the line. He collects it and sends a pass into the box for Torres. Torres weaves away from Duarte before Bryan Oviedo knocks the ball loose.

Keylor Navas comes out to close down the Spaniard but Torres shrugs Oviedo away from the ball, brings it onto his left foot the curls a shot past the goalkeeper on the turn.

Lovely finish.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:14 , Michael Jones

52 mins: The corner ball is played short to Marco Asensio who slides a beautifully weighted pass into the right side of the box. Dani Olmo is first to the loose ball and his cutback is hooked clear by Oscar Duarte.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:12 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Costa Rica are yet to have a shot, in fact I can only remember one instance where they nearly troubled the Spanish back line.

Spain ended the first half with 85% possession and they’re looking to increase that. Cesar Azpilicueta flings a throw in into the box and the ball gets turned behind for a Spanish corner.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:09 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Close! Spain pick up where they left off in the first half and move the ball quickly down the right side of the pitch. Marco Asensio drifts into space on the front edge of the box, close to the ‘D’.

He receives the ball, rolls it onto his left foot then smokes a shot over the crossbar. Perhaps the imminent tackle from Oscar Duarte just made him rush but Asensio isn’t overly pleased with that effort.

Second half: Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:06 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Costa Rica get the ball rolling for the second half against Spain. Carlos Martinez has gone off for the Central American side with Kendall Waston replacing him.

No changes for Spain as of yet.

HT Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:02 , Michael Jones

With Gavi and Pedri both starting, Spain are the first European side to name two teenagers in their starting XI for a World Cup match since Bulgaria against England in 1962 (Jechev and Sokolov).

At 18 years and 110 days, Gavi became the youngest player to play for Spain in a major international tournament (World Cup + European Championship) in the history of the national team.

HT Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:58 , Michael Jones

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(REUTERS)

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(Getty Images)

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(Getty Images)

Half-time: Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:50 , Michael Jones

45+5 mins: Good block! Marco Asensio almost has a second after being slipped into the left side of the box. He shoots from a narrow angle but Oscar Duarte leaps in front of the ball and blocks it with his sprawling body.

That’s the last act of the first half and Spain head into the break three goals up.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:49 , Michael Jones

45+3 mins: Nearly! Spain cut through Costa Rice with two passes. They’re knocking it around the back simply enough before Rodri bypasses the midfield with a through ball up to Gavi.

He collects it on the edge of the box and wants to play in Asensio. The forward is stuck on his heels and Gavi’s pass into the penalty area shoots by him before he can get in space.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:46 , Michael Jones

45 mins: There’s going to be five minutes of stoppage time added on at the end of the first half. Costa Rica need to get into the break, they’re been run off their feet out there at present.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:43 , Michael Jones

42 mins: Costa Rica look tired already. They’ve hardly had any time in possession and have been asked to defend diligently. Asensio makes a run behind the defence and collects the ball as it comes over the top down the right wing.

He’s closed down by a couple of defenders but manages to release the ball as his team mates join him in the final third.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:41 , Michael Jones

39 mins: Costa Rica have finally move to a back five but Spain are utilising short, sharp passes to play around them. They have six men in and around the penalty area as Cesar Azpilicueta brings the ball down the right wing.

Ferran Torres makes a run off the ball into the six-yard area but Azpilicueta’s cross skips over the top of his head and Costa Rica clear the danger.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:37 , Michael Jones

36 mins: Spain have scored three goals in the first half of a World Cup match for only the second time in their history, also doing so against Brazil in 1934.

Jewison Bennette, the young Costa Rican attacker, is trying to drive his team onward. He brings the ball down the left side but runs into trouble and gets dispossessed as there are limited options in the box for him.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:36 , Michael Jones

33 mins: Spain have had 87% possession and have killed off the game well before half-time. They’re in cruise control now and Luis Enrique will be thinking ahead to the Germany game on Sunday.

GOAL! Spain 3-0 Costa Rica (Ferran, 31’)⚽️

16:32 , Michael Jones

31 mins: Game over. Ferran Torres is up for Spain and calmly sends Keylor Navas diving the wrong way to his right as he slides the ball over to the opposite corner.

Spain are 3-0 to the good and there’s no chance of another upset tonight.

Penalty to Spain!

16:32 , Michael Jones

Spain 2-0 Costa Rica

29 mins: Things are going from bad to worse for Costa Rica. Jordi Alba weaves his way into the penalty area and is clipped but a scrappy attempted tackle from Oscar Duarte.

It’s a soft penalty but the referee points to the spot.

Spain 2-0 Costa Rica

16:30 , Michael Jones

25 mins: Marco Asensio is Spain’s 50th different goalscorer at the World Cup. Costa Rica look incredible shaky in defence now as Spain pass it with seeming ease.

GOAL! Spain 2-0 Costa Rica (Asensio, 21’)⚽️

16:21 , Michael Jones

21 mins: Two for Spain!

Costa Rica had looked to get further up the pitch but they’ve been undone by a diagonal pass out to Jordi Alba on the left wing. He’s pushed high up the pitch and brings the ball under control before picking out Marco Asensio in the penalty area.

Asensio meets it with a first time effort and guides the ball beautifully into the far bottom corner!

Spain 1-0 Costa Rica

16:20 , Michael Jones

15 mins: Spain continue to press their advantage but Costa Rica are sticking to their original shape. The Central American side see a bit of possession inside the Spanish final third but can’t get the ball into the box.

GOAL! Spain 1-0 Costa Rica (Olmo, 11’)⚽️

16:15 , Michael Jones

11 mins: Superb from Spain!

They work the ball over to the left wing before a pass comes inside to Dani Olmo. He drops back to collect the ball before sliding it over to Gavi and sprinting into the box.

Gavi flicks the ball over the top and gives it back to Olmo who brings it down with a spin around a defender before a calm and composed side-footed shot nestles it into the back of the net!

Spain 0-0 Costa Rica

16:54 , Michael Jones

8 mins: Chance! Spain are getting closer to the opening goal. A lovely move sees them work the ball through the middle of the pitch before finding Pedri in space on the inside left.

He plays a blind pass up to the edge of the box where Marco Asensio meets the ball with a first time left-footed effort that curls mere inches wide of the far post!

Spain 0-0 Costa Rica

16:27 , Michael Jones

5 mins: Chance! Spain come close to the opening goal after a beautiful pass from Pedri. He’s given the ball after Spain attack down the left and spots Dani Olmo’s run on the opposite side of the penalty area.

Pedri flicks the ball over to him as Olmo runs in behind Bryan Oviedo but Olmo’s volley goes wide of the far post!

Kick off: Spain 0-0 Costa Rica

16:25 , Michael Jones

Spain get the match started against Costa Rica with a long ball over to the right wing. It’s defended easily enough but the Spaniards push high and recover the ball.

Luis Enrique’s side will want to dominate possession tonight.

Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees

15:41 , Michael Jones

Jordan Pickford is hoping England get fair treatment from officials after boss Gareth Southgate said he was “worried” that his side had been used as an example during pre-World Cup referee meetings.

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees

Roy Keane says World Cup teams can do more after Germany’s on-pitch protest: ‘It’s a start’

15:36 , Michael Jones

Roy Keane responded to the German football team’s apparent protest ahead of their opening World Cup 2022 fixture, saying it’s a “start” but that players can “do more”.

Captained by Manuel Neuer, the Germany players covered their mouths during the team photo to suggest they were being “gagged” by Fifa.

“The most important people are supporters and players, use their voice, wear the armband, stand up,” Keane said in response. “Leadership is about action, go and do it if this is going to drag on. It’s a start, they can do more.”

‘It’s a start’: Roy Keane says teams can do more after Germany’s on-pitch protest

Spain vs Costa Rica

15:31 , Michael Jones

The fans are ready to go. Kick off between Spain and Costa Rica is 30 minutes away. Will this match provide another upset in Group E after Japan defeated Germany earlier today?

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(Getty Images)

 (REUTERS) (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

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(REUTERS)

Germany fall to Japan but stand up to Fifa as pressure mounts at controversial Qatar World Cup

15:11 , Michael Jones

Germany fans had waited four years for their team to make a statement at the Qatar World Cup, but they weren’t necessarily thinking of the one that Hansi Flick’s side delivered in their opening game.

While the national team failed to banish the spectre of Russia 2018, where Germany’s World Cup campaign came crashing down in Kazan, the team at least ensured that they addressed a much more pressing issue here.

Four-and-a-half years after a 2-0 defeat by South Korea saw Germany’s catastrophic world title defence end in the group stage – and in shame – the four-time champions went some way to restoring pride before they had kicked a ball against Japan; which was just as well, given their actual kicking of the ball offered little to celebrate.

Germany fall to Japan but stand up to Fifa as pressure mounts in Qatar

Japan shock Germany with comeback win!

15:06 , Michael Jones

Germany have been defeated by Japan!

Hansi Flick’s side were rocked in the second half but the Japanese who scored twice to earn their first victory ever against the four time World Cup champions.

Japan take all three points and move to the top of Group E. If Spain beat Costa Rica in the next match up Germany could be on the verge of getting knocked out of the World Cup.

Spain’s unique wonderkid who is ‘better than Iniesta’

15:02 , Michael Jones

Barcelona midfielder Pedri will turn 20 years old two days before Spain face Germany in one of the most anticipated games of the World Cup group stage.

The midfielder could be highly influential against the four-time world champions as both nations are expected to finish in the top two of Group E, the so-called group of death, with Japan and Costa Rica as the underdogs.

Pedri was a key part of Spain’s run to the semi-finals of the European Championship last year and, along with his performances for his club, won both the 2021 Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best player under the age of 21.

Spain’s unique wonderkid Pedri who is ‘better than Iniesta’

Busquets on winning the World Cup

14:57 , Michael Jones

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is competing in his fourth World Cup tournament and won the trophy with Spain in 2010. The 34-year-old also won the 2012 European Championship and is "dreaming" of winning another title in Qatar.

"I’m very happy to be here, regardless of whether it’s my second or fourth World Cup. I won’t make any decisions during or afterwards," said Busquets who put to bed the rumours that this would be his final World Cup for Spain.

"I am here to enjoy it, whatever happens. Obviously I am closer to this being my last World Cup."

Japan lead Germany!

14:53 , Michael Jones

Oh my word. Japan have come from a goal behind to lead Germany 2-1. They’ve never beaten the Germans in competitive football and are on the verge of a historic win.

There’s just the seven minutes of stoppage time to play.

If Japan can hold on and win then they will blow Group E wide open ahead of kick off between Spain and Costa Rica at 4pm.

Sportswashing and spectacle as Qatar’s World Cup of conflicts kicks off

14:51 , Michael Jones

As Lionel Messi and the Argentine squad arrived in Qatar this week, driving through a £220bn infrastructure project built on “modern slavery”, there was unmistakable excitement. The players can’t quite believe the World Cup is suddenly here again. “Another chance” at victory and immortality. It was much the same in the England camp, where the 14 players who have never been to the competition were almost just saying to each other: “It’s the World Cup!”

And one like no other, for reasons far beyond the fact that it is starting in November.

The disrupted calendar has at once made this World Cup one that has suddenly come out of nowhere and yet also weighed over the game for more than a decade. It is a mere week’s preparation that goes back 12 years.

That apparent contradiction appropriately reflects so many conflicts running through this World Cup. There is not a moral conflict, it should be stressed. It is unchallengeable: this World Cup should not be taking place in Qatar.

Sportswashing and spectacle as Qatar’s World Cup of conflicts kicks off

Spain vs Costa Rica confirmed line-ups ahead of World Cup fixture

14:47 , Michael Jones

Spain take on Costa Rica in Group E of the World Cup.

Spain have been disappointing at World Cups since winning the tournament in 2010 but Luis Enrique is leading a bright new generation in Qatar.

Barcelona’s Pedri, 19, and Gavi, 18, are set to start in midfield, with La Roja offering a reminder of their quality when they reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

Costa Rica return to the World Cup following their brilliant run to the quarter-finals in 2014. Keylor Navas, Bryan Oviedo and Joel Campbell remain a key part of the team.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Spain vs Costa Rica confirmed line-ups ahead of World Cup fixture

Costa Rica line-up

14:44 , Michael Jones

Costa Rica XI: Navas; Fuller, Calvo, Duarte, Oviedo; Tejeda, Borges; Martinez, Campbell, Bennette; Contreras

 (AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Japan draw level with Germany!

14:39 , Michael Jones

There are 15 minutes plus stoppage time left in the other Group E fixture of the day as Germany take on Japan. The Germans took a slender lead in that one but the Japanese have fought back to level things at 1-1.

This should be a cracking finish and you can follow the action right here:

Germany vs Japan LIVE: World Cup 2022 latest updates

Spain vs Costa Rica

14:37 , Michael Jones

Kick off for this one is at 4pm. Luis Enrique has already named the Spanish starting XI which some pacey attackers in Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo.

They sit either side of experienced striker Marco Asensio who will be able supplied by teenagers Pedri and Gavi.

 (REUTERS) (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

 (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Spain line-up

14:33 , Michael Jones

Spain XI: Unai; Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Alba, Busquets, Gavi, Pedri; Ferran, Asensio, Olmo

🚨 OFICIAL | ¡¡ASÍ DEBUTAMOS ANTE COSTA RICA!!

👥 Esta es la alineación de @LUISENRIQUE21 para el estreno de la @SEFutbol en el 𝐌𝐔𝐍𝐃𝐈𝐀𝐋.

💪🏼 ¡¡VAAAAAAAAMOOOOOSSSS ESPAAAÑAAAAA!!#VamosEspaña | #Catar2022 | #ESP pic.twitter.com/V18FmUupfD

— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SEFutbol) November 23, 2022

Spain vs Costa Rica

14:30 , Michael Jones

Spain are facing Costa Rica for the fourth time since 2011.

Their three previous head-to-heads have produced 12 goals with an average of four per game.

Spain vs Costa Rica

14:24 , Michael Jones

This is the first encounter between Spain and Costa Rica at the World Cup. In their three previous meetings - all friendlies - Spain are unbeaten against the Central American side with two wins and one draw.

Where to watch Spain vs Costa Rica?

14:20 , Michael Jones

The match will kick off at 4pm GMT on Wednesday 23rd November at the Al Thumama Stadium. It will be shown on ITV 1, with coverage starting at 3.10pm.

Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

14:15 , Michael Jones

Germany claim Fifa “denied us a voice” after their players covered their mouths in a World Cup statement before their Group E match with Japan.

It is the latest development in the row with the world’s governing body over the “One Love” initiative, with Fifa censoring Germany and other teams in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

The four-time World Cup winners lined up for the photo opportunity on the pitch before the Group E match at the Khalifa International Stadium, collectively covering their mouths.

Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

Spain vs Costa Rica early team news and predicted line-ups

14:07 , Jack Rathborn

Spain have no reported injury concerns following Jose Gaya’s withdrawal. The defence looks settled, with Dani Carvajal, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres and Jordi Alba at the back, while Sergio Busquets, Gavi and Pedri should start in midfield.

Alvaro Morata will continue as Spain’s number nine, with Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati competing to start alongside him in attack. Pablo Sarabia, Dani Olmo and Nico Williams are all contenders for a place, though.

Predicted line-ups:

Spain: Simon; Carvajal, Laporte, P Torres, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; F Torres, Morata, Fati

Costa Rica: Navas; C Martinez, Calvo, Duarte, Oviedo; Tejeda, Bennette, G Torres; Borges, Contreras, Campbell

Spain vs Costa Rica

13:58 , Michael Jones

There are two games from the Fifa World Cup happening this afternoon/early evening as Spain and Costa Rica go head-to-head in Group E before Belgium kick off their Group F campaign against Canada in the late match.

Luis Enrique’s Spain face a tricky time of things in a group that also features Germany and Japan but they will put qualification to the knockout stages firmly within reach if they defeat Costa Rica this afternoon.

The Spaniards have a nice mix of youth and experience to call upon which should put them in good stead for the tournament. Costa Rica, meanwhile are hoping to emulate their performance from the 2014 World Cup which saw them reach the quarter-final stage where they lost to the Netherlands in a penalty shootout.

Qatar 2022 has already throw up some surprising results - Saudi Arabia are still celebrating their win over Argentina - and Costa Rica have the chance to cause another upset. So to do Canada who take on Belgium in today’s final fixture.

They qualified top of the Concacaf table ahead of Mexico and the USA but are up against the World no. 2 who hope to better their third placed performance in Russia four years ago.