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Canada looking to avoid equalling World Cup record against Croatia

Canada looking to avoid equalling World Cup record against Croatia

Canada will hope to end an unwanted World Cup streak when they face Croatia at the Khalifa International Stadium on Sunday.

The Maple Leafs are participating in this tournament for just the second time, ending a wait of 36 years since their maiden appearance in 1986.

However, John Herdman‘s side were hugely impressive during their opening Group F fixture against Belgium, only going down by a 1-0 scoreline against the 2018 third-placed nation.

On another night, Canada may have earned at least a share of the spoils with Alphonso Davies missing an early penalty and Jonathan David failing to hit the target on a record-equalling seven occasions with shots from inside the penalty area.

Nevertheless, the history books say that Canada failed to breach the Belgium defence, and it has left the North American nation on the brink of matching a World Cup record.

Belgium's Thibaut Courtois saves a penalty from Canada's Alphonso Davies at the World Cup on November 23, 2022.© Reuters

Canada have now failed to score in each of their four matches at the World Cup, with defeats coming against Soviet Union, Hungary and France in 1986 without netting a goal.

Should there be the same occurrence in Al Rayyan, Canada will equal a record five-game scoreless run which has been held by Bolivia since 1994.

The South American minnows failed to score in three games across the 1930 and 1950 editions and their first two fixtures in the United States in 1994.

Not until a 67th-minute goal from Erwin Sanchez in a 3-1 defeat to Spain did they get on the scoresheet at a World Cup, and that remains their solitary goal in this competition.

From Croatia’s perspective, they have only prevailed in one of their three World Cup meetings with CONCACAF opposition, their solitary win being against Jamaica in 1998 and each of their two defeats coming versus Mexico in 2002 and 2014 respectively.

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