Settling for second
England ended their World Cup group stage in second spot behind Belgium, following a narrow 1-0 defeat in Kaliningrad. With both teams having won their first two games against Tunisia and Panama, the group was tightly poised going into the final round of matches with England sitting top by virtue of one goal. But Adnan Januzaj’s second-half goal saw Roberto Martinez’s side leap-frog the Three Lions into top spot.
- FIFA 2018 World Cup
- Thursday 28 June 2018
- Kaliningrad, Russia
- Live on ITV
With the Three Lions slipping into second spot in Group G, it means they will now face Group H winners Colombia in the round of 16. The game will be held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow at 7pm on Tuesday 3 July. The South Americans beat Senegal by 1-0 earlier in the day to top their group, having previously beaten Poland and drawn with Japan in their previous fixtures. For many, the game will evoke memories of England’s win over Colombia at the 1998 World Cup, when goals from Darren Anderton and David Beckham sealed a 2-0 win. And who could forget the game at Wembley in 1995, when Colombian legend Rene Higuita produced his famous scorpion kick in a 0-0 draw?
Belgium's bright beginning
It was Belgium who enjoyed the better of the first half and came close to an early goal twice in the first ten minutes. Firstly, Youri Tielemans fired in a dipping shot at goal, which the unsighted Jordan Pickford had to palm away. And then a Marouane Fellaini knock-down was smothered by the England keeper only for Michy Batshuayi to poke it goalwards from underneath him with Gary Cahill eventually clearing the danger.
With the teams making relatively hard work of breaking each other down, it took a wonderful finish from Adnan Januzaj to open the scoring. The former Manchester United youngster received the ball on the right-hand side of the area, before jinking his way inside past Danny Rose and opening up the space to curl a shot around Pickford and into the top corner.
England’s best chance to equalise fell to the feet of Marcus Rashford just after the hour mark, when a neat pass from Jamie Vardy sent his fellow forward clear on goal. But with just Thibaut Courtois to beat, Rashford will be disappointed to have placed his effort wide of the post shortly before he switched a new-look role as a wing-back for the final ten minutes. The Manchester United man came closer in the 80th minute though, when his free-kick flashed just wide as England pushed for an equaliser.
England: 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton), 3 Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), 4 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) (c), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 11 Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), 15 Gary Cahill (Chelsea), 16 Phil Jones (Manchester United), 17 Fabian Delph (Manchester City), 19 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), 22 Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Substitutes: 6 Harry Maguire (Leicester City) for Stones 46, 14 Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) for Alexander-Arnold 79
Substitutes not used: 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 7 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), 8 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), 12 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), 13 Jack Butland (Stoke City), 18 Ashley Young (Manchester United), 20 Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), 23 Nick Pope (Burnley)
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Belgium: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 3 Thomas Vermaelen, 8 Marouane Fellaini, 16 Thorgan Hazard, 17 Youri Tielemans, 18 Adnan Januzaj, 19 Mousa Dembele, 20 Dedryck Boyata, 21 Michy Batshuayi, 22 Nacer Chadli, 23 Leander Dendoncker.
Substitutes: 4 Vincent Kompany for Vermaelen 74, 14 Dries Mertens for Zanuzaj 86
Substitutes not used: 2 Toby Alderweireld, , 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Axel Witsel, 7 Kevin De Bruyne, 9 Romelu Lukaku, 10 Eden Hazard, 11 Yannick Carrasco, 12 Simon Mignolet, 13 Koen Casteels, , 15 Thomas Meunier
Coach: Roberto Martinez
Goals: Adnan Januzaj 51
Cautions: Youri Tielemans 19, Leander Dendoncker 33