Football

Canadian Alphonso Davies remains a doubt for the first match of the World Cup

Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies remains an injury doubt for Canada’s World Cup opener against Belgium on Wednesday as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain suffered earlier this month. .

Canada coach John Herdman said that Davies was “still moving towards top speed. But he hasn’t reached that top speed yet.”

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“When you have hamstring injuries, there’s always the key moment,” Herdman said Saturday. “That’s when you push the hamstring, push it to the limit.

“We have to get it right because it could be a long tournament for Canada. And that’s the last thing I want Alphonso to miss.”

After arriving in Qatar in recent days, Herdman said Davies was looking forward to taking the field for Canada in what is their first World Cup since 1986.

“He’s very excited,” Herdman added. “Who wouldn’t be when you see an 80 foot billboard of yourself when you drive to your hotel?”

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Two other top Canadian players are also in doubt with injuries: midfielder Stephen Eustaquio and number one goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

Eustaquio has an unspecified injury and Borjan complained of abdominal pain in Canada’s 2-1 friendly win over Japan on Thursday in Dubai. Borjan was unable to train on Saturday.

“That’s the life of a coach,” Herdman said. “I mean, it’s bleak on the one hand, but it’s an opportunity on the other.”

Midfielder Samuel Piette added: “We played several games without Alphonso Davies during qualifying and we did very well. We don’t want to miss these guys. We want these guys on the pitch. But at the same time, it’s who is ready to respond.” the call.

Canada faces an uphill task to get out of Group F, facing No. 2 ranked Belgium and 2018 World Cup runner-up Croatia. However, Piette insists the team is fearless after finishing top of the CONCACAF World Cup qualification to earn their ticket to Qatar.

“We want to surprise the world and show that Canada is a serious soccer country and a serious team,” Piette said. “And hopefully we start off on the right foot against Belgium.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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