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Canadian men to face Belgium, Croatia and Morocco in opening round at World Cup

Canadian men are ranked 38th in the world, below the 3 other teams in their group
Members of Canada’s national soccer team celebrate after clinching a berth in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier soccer action against Jamaica in Toronto on Sunday March 27, 2022 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Canada will face Belgium, Morocco and Croatia in Group F in the opening group stage of the World Cup in Qatar this November.

The Canadian men are ranked 38th in the world compared to No. 2 for Belgium, No. 16 for Croatia and No, 24 Morocco.

Canada was the last ball taken in the draw.

The Canadians drew France, Hungary and the Soviet Union as first-round opponents in their only other visit to soccer’s showcase — Mexico ‘86. Canada lost all three matches and was outscored 5-0.

Friday’s draw had Canada in Pot 4, which featured the lowest-ranked qualified teams. Rules of the draw meant that the Canadians could not be put in a group with fellow CONCACAF qualifiers Mexico and the U.S.

The draw took place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center with actor Idris Elba and broadcaster Reshmin Chowdhury as hosts.

The 32-team tournament runs Nov. 21 through Dec. 18.

—Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

RELATED: Canada falls 1-0 to Panama, finishes atop CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings