‘It had to be him’: Alphonso Davies scores Canadian men’s first-ever World Cup goal

Canada forward Alphonso Davies (19) celebrates his goal against Croatia during first half group F World Cup soccer action at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Sunday. (Nathan Denette/CP)

It took 36 years and two World Cups, but Canada’s men’s national team finally scored on soccer’s biggest stage.

Just 67 seconds into Canada’s second match of the 2022 event against Croatia, Canadian superstar Alphonso Davies flew through the air to head home a Tajon Buchanan cross, giving Canada in 1-0 lead in a crucial game. It’s the fastest goal of the tournament so far.

With the goal, Davies redeemed his previous chance to make history as the Canadian men’s first scorer when he missed a penalty kick against Belgium.

Canada is at the World Cup in Qatar after having last qualified for the event in 1986 in Mexico. At that tournament, Canada lost all three of its matches (to France, Hungary, and the former Soviet Union), while allowing five goals, and failing to score one.

The Canadians were dominant in CONCACAF qualifying, scoring 23 goals in 14 games and tying for top spot in the final group with fellow qualifiers Mexico. Six of those goals came against the Mexicans and the U.S., who are also in Qatar.

But scoring in qualifying and scoring in the World Cup is not the same thing. The manner in which the Canadians celebrated can certainly stand as proof of that.

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