Canada's 2022 World Cup campaign ended with a third consecutive defeat on Thursday, as they fell 2-1 to Group F winners Morocco at the Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar. Hakim Ziyech gave Morocco the lead just four minutes in, taking advantage of a calamitous error at the back from Canada, before Youssef En-Nesyri doubled the late shortly after. Sam Adekugbe pulled one back for Canada, forcing an own goal from Nayef Aguerd with a cross into the box, but Canada were unable to find a second. It was another match in which Canada dominated stretches of the match, but errors in key moments let them down, leaving them with zero points in their second trip to the tournament, and the first in 36 years. Here are ratings for every player who took the pitch for Canada in this match.
Milan Borjan: 4.5/10It was a brutal error from Milan Borjan that was responsible for Canada conceding very early in this match, just four minutes in. After receiving a slightly misplaced backpass from Steven Vitoria, Borjan tried to take a touch and sprint forward with the ball outside his penalty area, but instead overhit the ball, passing it right to Hakim Ziyech. The Chelsea forward calmly lobbed the ball into the back of the net to open the scoring. Borjan was beaten a second time about 20 minutes later, as Morocco sprinted forward in attack. Youssef En-Nesyri chased down a ball forward from Achraf Hakimi and took a touch before firing it into the net at Borjan's near post, a shot you'd probably expect a goalkeeper of his quality to make. He played a great cross into the box when up the field for a corner late in the match, but that obviously isn't his job, and Canada's number one generally had a game to forget.
Alistair Johnston: 6.5/10It was more of the same from Alistair Johnston in this match, as the Canadian right back was again deployed on the right side of a back three. Defensively, Johnston was solid against Sofiane Boufal and Noussair Mazraoui, but was limited in his ability to get forward and play in crosses. With Alphonso Davies in front of him in this match, he had a bit of protection, and as a whole didn't make any major slip-ups during his time in Qatar. He'll want back his opportunity to tie the game in the second half, as he had a follow up header from close range after Atiba Hutchinson's initial effort hit the bottom of the bar, but he sent the ball over the crossbar -- possibly being fouled in the process as he was shoved, but with no call.
Kamal Miller: 6/10After a brilliant performance against Belgium in which he was one of Canada's best players, Kamal Miller has been a bit shaky since. His tendency to go to ground first instead of trying to execute tackles on his feet let him down on a couple of occasions again, including a play where he tried to tackle Ziyech but wasn't able to strip the ball away. Ziyech went charging down the sidelines, and although that attack wouldn't lead to anything, the Chelsea attacker leaving Miller scrambling to get up and get back was a troublesome sight. It wasn't all bad, Miller's positioning was alright for most of this match and he started a couple of passing movements out of the back, especially in the second half as Canada had more of the ball. It was a second performance, however, where he left a bit to be desired, from a player many consider to be on the radars of European clubs.
Steven Vitoria: 5.5/10It was Vitoria's backpass to Milan Borjan that is partially at fault for Morocco's opening goal, as the Canadian centre-back slightly underhit the ball back to his goalkeeper, forcing him to come out of goal and penalty area. It isn't Vitoria's fault that Borjan didn't just blast the ball down the field, but had the pass back been in a better position, Borjan would not have been under so much pressure. Vitoria was also outpaced and beaten on Morocco's second goal, as Youssef En-Nesyri charged past him and Miller to beat Borjan at his near post with a driven, low shot. There was perhaps an opportunity for Vitoria to just slide in and throw himself in front of the ball before En-Nesyri got a shot away, but that would have run the risk of giving away a penalty, and that split-second decision was not made, probably for the better. It was surprising that Vitoria (and Miller) even played all three matches, and played every single minute, in fact. The 35-year-old looked fatigued and off the pace at times in all three matches, but Herdman declined to sub on Joel Waterman or Derek Cornelius at any point in the tournament.
Sam Adekugbe: 6.5/10Starting at the World Cup for the first time after two appearances off the bench, Sam Adekugbe did well with his chance. He combined well on the left flank with Tajon Buchanan, and got into good space down the left side with overlapping runs in his hour of work. Defensively he put in a solid shift against the aforementioned world-class duo of Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech. It was Adekugbe that forced Canada's own goal at the end of the first half as well, as his low cross struck Nayef Aguerd before ending up in the back of the Morrocon net. It was a big day for Adekugbe family, as it was also announced that Sam's brother Elijah is joining Canadian Premier League side York United after four years across the country at Cavalry FC.
Mark-Anthony Kaye: 5.5/10With Stephen Eustaquio and Atiba Hutchinson both out of the starting lineup -- one injured and the other in need of a rest, respectively -- John Herdman had to make two changes in midfield, and brought in Toronto FC duo Mark-Anthony Kaye and Jonathan Osorio. Having that pair in midfield by themselves proved to be the wrong decision, as they were doing a lot more work than they would have needed to do had they had an anchor in midfield with them to cover some of their defensive work. Someone like Sam Piette would have been a good option, but the CF Montreal midfielder didn't play a single minute in this tournament despite several seemingly good opportunities to slot him in. Canada used a trio in the second half when Ismael Kone replaced Sam Adekugbe, but unfortunately for Kaye he was substituted out at the same time for Atiba Hutchinson. He misplaced some passes, and many of the ones he completed were backwards or sideways, not getting the most out of his elite vision on the ball as has been demonstrated for club and country over the past few seasons.
Jonathan Osorio: 6/10The other change in midfield saw Jonathan Osorio come in alongside Kaye. As mentioned above, the two-man midfield system wasn't the right choice, as Osorio and Kaye were forced to both do all the running defensively as well as link the lines to connect the defence with the attack. They needed that third body in midfield, especially Osorio, who wasn't able to get forward and attack as much as he would like, and as much as he has for Toronto FC in recent years. Osorio didn't have a huge impact on the match before being replaced by Richie Laryea in the 65th minute, but he hardly put a foot wrong either. He completed the majority of his passes, but was dispossessed on a couple of occasions in midfield as well.
Junior Hoilett: 7/10Using his wealth of experience to his advantage, Junior Hoilett put in another fantastic shift for Canada. He was delivering some good crosses into the box, especially from set pieces as he reclaimed those duties from Alphonso Davies and the absent Stephen Eustaquio. He's an incredibly hard worker, a prime example of the team's abundantly clear mentality of fighting hard as a unit from minute one to minute ninety, something that was noticeable in this match through his pressing and combination play in attack. Those passing plays didn't happen often enough for Canada, but when they got them right, they nearly led to goals, such as this quick one between Hoilett and Cyle Larin.
Tajon Buchanan: 7.5/10Fearless on such a big stage, and willing to try just about anything to get the ball up the pitch, there's a case to be made that Tajon Buchanan was Canada's best player in Qatar. He was Canada's most consistent attacker, and was versatile, playing on both wings and sometimes dropping back a little into more of a wingback position. Against Morocco he started higher up the pitch, where he spent most of the match, but also played an attacking left back role in the closing stages as he and David Wotherspoon tried to make things happen against PSG right back Achraf Hakimi. Unfortunately for Buchanan and Canada, those attacks wouldn't lead to a goal like they did on Canada's opening tally against Croatia, but his willingness to keep pushing until the very end down that left flank was a threat for Canada once again. He also likely wishes he had swung his left foot at this low cross from Cyle Larin in the first half rather than trying to redirect it with his right foot. Still just 23, and now with three solid performances against strong opponents in the World Cup under his belt, Buchanan could make a move to a top team and have a monstrous World Cup cycle and hit his prime right as Canada hosts the world in four years' time.
Alphonso Davies: 6.5/10It was unusual to see Alphonso Davies start this match on the right wing, considering he's arguably the best left back in the sport, and considering that Morocco have an elite right-sided duo of Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech. It was perhaps more frustrating that Davies was once again deployed in a role that gave him the license to roam around the pitch a bit. After starting in the right wing/wingback role, Davies often cut inside more centrally, sometimes to the point where he was playing as a striker in a 4-4-2 with David. The free role hasn't worked in Qatar, nor did it work in the pre-tournament friendlies -- the one against Uruguay in particular comes to mind. Davies' pace, dribbling, and ability to win the ball back, are qualities that not a lot of players possess at once -- but playing him out of the position that allows him to use all of those skills at once wasn't effective in Qatar.
Cyle Larin: 6/10Despite Cyle Larin being the Canadian men's national team's all-time record goalscorer, it was a very bold decision from John Herdman to give him the start over rising superstar Jonathan David. As has been the case for David in this tournament, Canada's service into their striker wasn't good enough. Larin was practically begging for the ball to be played to him, but it didn't end up at his feet or crossed into him in the air nearly enough before David replaced him around the hour mark. He had a couple of good moments, like a brilliant run and cross to the back post for Buchanan, but his Brugge teammate wasn't able to poke the ball home for what would have been an early equalizer.
Richie Laryea: 6.5/10Given Laryea's strong showings in Canada's first two matches, especially against Belgium, it was a bit surprising to see him start this match on the bench, but when he did get into the game in the 66th minute -- replacing Osorio -- he was effective. Laryea was placed on the right flank as an attacking option on the wing, pushing Davies even higher up the pitch to try and create a goal. He was brought on to try and boost Herdman's attack, and that's what he did with his signature runs down the line, but Morocco were able to hold on and preserve the 2-1 advantage.
Atiba Hutchinson: 7/10In what was his third, and almost certainly final, World Cup match for the team he has represented for nearly two decades, Atiba Hutchinson put in a strong performance off the bench. His best moment came in the 71st minute, with the Canadian captain nearly equalizing from a corner kick. He got his head on the end of the cross in from Junior Hoilett, sending the ball off the bottom of the crossbar and down onto the line, inches away from making it 2-2. He looked sharp on and off the ball, a steady improvement from his difficult showing against Croatia.
Ismaël Koné: 7/10It was another good outing for Ismaël Koné in this tournament -- one that very solid, but nothing too remarkable like the first two. He came in off the bench in all three matches, and looked composed in all of them. He didn't have the biggest impact, including Thursday's game against Morocco, but connected a few passes and shored up the Canadian midfield defensively as they transitioned from a two-man midfield to one with a trio in the middle of the park. Like Buchanan, he has looked fearless on the world's biggest stage, and as a top young prospect who now has three World Cup appearances under his belt, watch for him to play a big role in the next few years as the four year cycle to the 2026 tournament begins.
David Wotherspoon: 6/10Wotherspoon made his World Cup debut in this match, getting about 20 minutes off the bench in relief of Junior Hoilett. Wotherspoon had a few flashes of brilliance, including his signature Spoony Chop to turn Achraf Hakimi inside out before playing a cross into the box. They would win a corner from that cross, and Spoony tried his best to do what he was brought on to do -- make things happen on the left flank, even if his efforts just fell short.
Jonathan David: 6.5/10After a couple of uneventful outings in Canada's first two World Cup matches, John Herdman made a big decision to leave Jonathan David on the bench to start this match. After Cyle Larin struggled to make an impact on the match in the first hour, David came off the bench to replace him, but he too was unable to find that elusive equalizer that Canada so desperately craved. He pressed well, and made an impact off the ball, but as was the case throughout the tournament, he was missing that final moment of quality to put the ball in the back of the net, or the service to get him those opportunities.