The Canucks could have benefited from one or two more penalties during the first period against Belgium (0-1), before Michy Batshuayi’s goal.
Twenty-one shots, only three on target, and a missed penalty. Canada lacked realism against Belgium, who won against the run of play (0-1) this Wednesday in Qatar. But the North Americans could have benefited from two more penalties in the first half, two more huge chances to open the scoring.
The VAR intervened at the start of the game to signal a hand from Yannick Ferreira Carrasco on a Canadian shot, and allow Mr. Sikazwe to whistle the penalty missed by Alphonso Davies (11th). On the other hand, the video assistance found nothing wrong with two other contentious situations.
This wasn’t a call against Canada for a penalty. What the fuck are we doing here pic.twitter.com/cF4o8AJ0yE
— Johnny Giunta (@JohnnyGiuntaa) November 23, 2022
Just minutes after the first penalty, Buchanan collapsed after being kicked in the penalty area (see tweet above). But instead of whistling a penalty, Mr. Sikazwe signaled… an offside. The Canadian striker was indeed much closer to the goal than the last Belgian defender… but it was Eden Hazard who had put the ball back. There was therefore no reason to whistle offside, and the penalty would have been justified.
🔔 | Fans believe Canada were denied penalty after Eden Hazard pass https://t.co/Fy2PHZV6mc
— SPORTbible News (@SportBibleNews) November 23, 2022
Later in the game, but still before the only goal of the match signed Batshuayi (44th), there was another suspicious situation in the Belgian area. This time, it is the side Richie Laryea who is mounted, in the duel with Axel Witsel (38th). He collapses, and Mr. Sikazwe consults his assistance before not whistling. In slow motion, however, we see that there is contact between the two players, while Laryea is in a favorable position. On this one, the VAR obviously considered that there had been no manifest error on the part of the Zambian referee, who was well placed to judge the action.
Yes, that should have been a penalty for Canada against Belgium after a clear trip from Witsel pic.twitter.com/4vCUJvoo90
— Has the Referee or VAR made a poor decision? (@PoorEPLreferees) November 23, 2022
As a reminder, Mr. Sikazwe is infamous is infamous for his performance during an African Cup of Nations meeting last January, where he had lost control and whistled the end of the match in the 85th minute. This is not his first World Cup since he officiated in 2018, for a meeting between Belgium, already, and Panama.