According to defender Toby Alderweireld, Belgium "need to improve" if they want to have a chance to advance far in the 2022 World Cup.
While Belgium failed to make any progress against an agile and well-prepared Canada team, Michy Batshuayi's lone goal of the match was made possible by Alderweireld's long pass.
Thibaut Courtois, the goalkeeper for the Red Devils, turned away Alphonso Davies' early penalty attempt, and Canada also missed a number of first-half opportunities as Belgium hung on to a crucial victory to jump ahead of Canada at the top of Group F.
Alderweireld said: "We didn't play our best game, but we fought hard, especially in the second half and it's better to improve things with three points in the bag than no points.
"We weren't good enough on the ball, we didn't create the right spaces and in the second half we could have hurt them a lot more. Our last pass has to be a lot better.
"The first step is to get through but we need to improve."
Alderweireld's sentiments were shared by fellow defender Timothy Castagne, who felt Canada's no-fear approach made them tricky opponents.
The Leicester City full-back said: "We were expecting that, it's not easy to play against.
"We tried to play through them but we could not find the free men. When we did, we had some good opportunities but couldn't finish them.
"We can thank Thibaut for keeping us in the game first half. After that, we defended pretty strong together, which hasn't always been our strongest suit so that's good."
With Argentina and Germany had already lost in Qatar to unheralded opponents, Castagne was just pleased Belgium avoided joining the ranks of beaten favourites, adding: "If you get the win, you get confidence even if it wasn't our best game.
"Some big teams have lost so it's good to get off to a good start points-wise."
While Belgium was relieved, it was a night of pride and frustration for Canada. They emerged with enormous credit, inspired by the shrewd leadership of head coach John Herdman, but will rue their profligacy in front of the goal.
Defender Steven Vitoria said: "We deserved more against a world-class side. When we play like that we'll be a lot closer to winning than anything else. It was a fantastic performance but at this level, you have to get win.
"The intention is to be fearless on the biggest stage, this is a new Canada and we gave that statement to the world. But no excuses, we're here to win and we're not satisfied."