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Canada player ratings: Hoilett impresses, Borjan drops stinker in World Cup finale

Morocco scored twice in 23 minutes, making everyone wonder if Canada was in over its head. Thankfully for the Canadians, an Nayef Aguerd own goal restored faith but a late rally wasn't enough to claim a result.
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Morocco defender Nayef Aguerd (5) moves the ball as Canada midfielder Junior Hoilett (10) defends during first half group F World Cup soccer action at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.

The Canadian men's national team closed out their first World Cup in 36 years with a 2-1 loss in Morocco as they wait for their first-ever point in the competition.

Morocco scored twice in 23 minutes, making everyone wonder if Canada was in over its head. Thankfully for the Canadians, an Nayef Aguerd own goal restored faith but a late rally wasn't enough to claim a result.

Here are your on-the-whistle player ratings for every Canadian starter in the defeat.

Ratings are based off a 10-point scale. Anything above a six, the usual average for soccer ratings, is considered solid or better.

Milan Borjan (goalkeeper): 3/10

Both goals, in part, lie at Milan Borjan's feet.

Literally.

The pass prior to the opening goal was hit short by Steven Vitoria but Borjan needed to put his foot through that ball instead of hitting a tame pass to Hakim Ziyech. That likely frazzled the Canadian number one because he didn't help deal with a long ball over the top of the defence and allowed Youssef En-Nesyri to latch onto it for the second.

Alistair Johnston (right-back): 7/10

The fact Alistair Johnston is so positionally flexible benefitted Canada greatly as it fought back in the game.

Johnston went from right-back, to centre-back to an inverted full-back where he tucked inside to help Canada control possession in the central areas. He finished with 44 of 50 completed passes and probably should've scored one of the flurry of headers late in the second half.

Steven Vitoria (centre-back): 5/10

This was a struggle for Steven Vitoria but like the rest of the team, he recovered well.

Still, that doesn't excuse a horrendous opening 30 minutes where Vitoria misread another long ball and struggled in one-on-one duels in transition. The latter isn't a strength of his, although that doesn't excuse him from criticism.

Kamal Miller (centre-back): 6/10

The lack of speed on the turn hurt Kamal Miller on Morocco's second goal. But after that mishap, he was solid enough.

Some of the one-on-one defending against Ziyech was breathtaking. It would've been very easy to go to ground but Miller stayed patient and ensured there was no beating him on the dribble.

Sam Adekugbe (left-back): 7/10

It's surprising that Sam Adekugbe hasn't started more games at the World Cup. He proved how valuable he can be as a two-way full-back with his weaving run for Canada's goal, not to mention a few key defensive interventions in transition.

Tajon Buchanan (right winger): 5/10

This was a hit-or-miss performance from Tajon Buchanan. He wasn't helping Sam Adekugbe off the ball and missed a glorious chance to get Canada on the scoresheet.

Other than that, though, Buchanan didn't have any other notable contribution.

Mark-Anthony Kaye (midfielder): 5/10

One on hand, we saw Mark-Anthony Kaye's classic distribution where he hit some killer passes, but the risk-reward was certainly present with an 83 per cent completion rate on 60 attempts.

Unfortunately for Kaye, the lack of match fitness was apparent as he appeared a step slow in off-the-ball duels all night.

 

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