Canada were eliminated from the World Cup after just two matches despite again playing their part in an entertaining encounter as Croatia won 4-1 at Khalifa International Stadium.
Back at the finals after 36 years away, Canada thrilled in their opening game against Belgium, only to be narrowly beaten.
It looked to be a similar story again on Sunday, although Croatia were ultimately deserving winners after two goals from Andrej Kramaric and one each from Marko Livaja and Lovro Majer overturned an early Canada lead.
Alphonso Davies’ opener was his country’s first goal at a World Cup, but still it was a fifth defeat from five on the global stage, ending their hopes of progression as Croatia join Morocco on four points in Group F.
That wait for a breakthrough goal extended only 67 seconds into Canada’s fifth finals match, with Davies meeting Tajon Buchanan’s cross to head the fastest goal of the tournament so far.
Croatia soon took control, however, and after Milan Borjan twice denied Livaja either side of a disallowed Kramaric goal, two goals ahead of half-time turned the game on its head.
Borjan had no answer to Kramaric, who squeezed in another finish, and Livaja got his goal with a low effort from the edge of the box.
John Herdman’s men came out for the second half with renewed optimism and went close through both substitute Jonathan Osorio and Jonathan David, but Kramaric continued to threaten and clinically picked out the bottom-left corner to settle it.
There was time for Croatia to add further gloss as poor Kamal Miller miscontrolled on halfway and gave Mislav Orsic a clear run to advance and unselfishly square to Majer.