Belgium defeated England Saturday for the second time in the 2018 World Cup.
Belgium secured the bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup after goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard secured a 2-0 win over England.
But they eventually fell in extra time then and again conceded late in a less pressurised environment this time around, Hazard wrapping up victory – and Belgium’s second tournament win over England – with his third of the campaign in the 82nd minute.
England and Belgium have each featured in a third-place playoff at the FIFA World Cup on one previous occasion, with both ending up on the losing side.
At least Kane is a step nearer the Golden Boot, after closest rival Romelu Lukaku, two goals behind, appeared to have lead in his despite having the chances he needed to draw level before he was substituted on the hour-mark. Ultimately, France’s 1-0 win in the semifinal over their neighbours settles the debate in their favour, but Hazard and Belgium have finally lived up to the hype on the big stage at this World Cup.
Third place for Belgium, meanwhile, would have been its highest finish in World Cup history.
While France will compete for their second World Cup title and Croatia their first in the final on Sunday, England and Belgium must be content to battle it out for the consolation prize of third place; a game that England Manager Gareth Southgate says that his team will approach with pride. “In terms of mentality, it’s been a really hard couple of days for us”, he said.
Belgium came out the stronger of the two sides and had the best of the openings in the early stages of the encounter.
With that said, De Rode Duivels sealed the third place at the World Cup as De Bruyne fed in Hazard behind a floundering Phil Jones, and the dynamic forward struck home with confidence at the near post.
Belgium coach, Roberto Martinez has no new injuries worries in his squad ahead of the game. We don’t want to give Belgium any help frankly. “We played one of the best teams in the world with individual talent which is incredible and we had only two days to get ready”, he said.
Scott Brant: Belgium 2 – 1 England.
55th minute, 1-0 Belgium: Kevin De Bruyne threads a flawless pass into the box and again Romelu Lukaku’s touch lets him down. The only significance of the match was to decide who will finish as group toppers and runner-ups.
10 – Thomas Meunier’s goal saw Belgium’s tenth name adorn the scoresheet in Russian Federation. England’s World Cup dreams may have been ended by the wily Croats but what a tournament this has been for Gareth Southgate’s young Lions.
“We are better than England”, he told reporters at a press conference, as reported by Reuters.
It desperately needed changing and the introduction of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford at the break added fresh life. In goal, Jordan Pickford is likely to be afforded a breather, with Jack Butland coming in for England’s final game.
For four minutes, Belgium played at full throttle as if they had forgotten that they were already out of the running for top honours.