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Thierry Henry individually embraced every Canada player after Belgium win, proves his class

Nasir Jabbar

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Thierry Henry individually embraced every Canada player after Belgium win, proves his class

Thierry Henry showed respect to each Canada player following their hard-fought defeat to Belgium at the World Cup.

Canada went toe-to-toe with Belgium in their Group F opener on Wednesday, eventually succumbing to Michy Batshuayi who scored the only goal of the game.

The North American minnows, who haven't played at a World Cup since 1986, had a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty in the opening stages of their match.

However, star man Alphonso Davies fluffed his lines from the spot as Thibaut Courtois saved his effort.

But their endeavour was acknowledged by Belgium assistant coach Henry, who went out of his way to show respect.

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He embraced each player in the tunnel in a touching gesture, highlighting his class.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez also hailed Canada's showing in Qatar, saying they were the 'better' team.

"Today was such a difficult game, Canada were better than us in what we wanted to do," he said after the 1-0 win.

"They came to the tournament with an incredible celebration, great emotion, what we expected. This Canada team has a lot of pace and directness.

"To be fair, we had to show another side of our play.

"I’m delighted because we won the game through grit and experience, through the quality of our goalkeeper who kept us in the game by saving the penalty, many elements.

"The victory today is more important than when you play well.

"Canada deserved to be better than us in the way they played. I think the result reflects the things that we had to do and the way we defended for each other and took our chance."

Thierry Henry shakes hands with Roberto Martinez following Belgium's win over Canada. Image: Alamy
Thierry Henry shakes hands with Roberto Martinez following Belgium's win over Canada. Image: Alamy

Martinez added: "It’s a win and we need to play better and to grow. We’ve been here five days, we have to grow with these games. Many top teams are losing games.

"This tournament is going to make you develop and grow as the tournament goes on. If you do that by winning games, it’s an incredible advantage.

"Today we didn’t win by our normal talent and quality on the ball, but you don’t win in the World Cup if you don’t do the other side of the game.

"We need to be realistic, we need to play well but when a team can win without playing well, it’s a lot to build on.”

Canada resume their World Cup campaign on Sunday when they face Croatia.

Featured Image Credit: FIFA World Cup

Topics: Football, Belgium, Thierry Henry, Football World Cup

Nasir Jabbar
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