KEY POINTS

  • Belgium defeated Canada 1-0 on Wednesday
  • Michy Batshuayi scored the goal for Belgium
  • Belgium's next game is on Sunday against Morocco

Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne won the Player of the Match in his side's 1-0 win over Canada in the FIFA World Cup 2022.

De Bruyne said he did not deserve the award as he believed his performance on Wednesday was underwhelming. Striker Michy Batshuayi, who plays for Turkish club Fenerbahçe, netted the lone goal and earned three crucial points for Belgium in their Group F match against the Canadians.

"I don't think I played a great game. I don't know why I got the trophy. Maybe it's because of the name. Credit to Canada. It wasn't good enough, but we know what to change. The precision was lacking, also with me. There was a fighting spirit, which is a minimum requirement. The first match like this at a major tournament is always special. I was not stressed, but I could only speak for myself. We made it difficult for ourselves and that caused stress in the team," De Bruyne told reporters Wednesday.

Despite the win, the Belgian side was heavily criticized for their performance in their campaign opener in Qatar, especially in the first half where Canada were the dominant side. Canada had 22 shots with only three on target against Thibaut Courtois, who also saved a penalty that the North American side received following a handball from Belgium's Yannick Carrasco.

Meanwhile, De Bruyne was seen getting involved in a heated exchange with Belgium teammate Toby Alderweireld during the game.

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In the post-match interview, when the Manchester City star was asked about his row with Alderweireld, De Bruyne replied, "That is pure football, which is emotions. We are not here to treat each other like choirboys, we are here as men. Kevin had something and I disagreed. That is emotion and shows that we are working on it. The buttons turned very quickly, which was just over between Kevin and me. We are more than okay."

In the ongoing season, De Bruyne, who finished third in the latest Ballon d'Or awards, has netted three goals and provided 13 assists in 19 games for Pep Guardiola's City.

Belgium's next World Cup game is against Morocco on Sunday.