Hazard, Meunier bag bronze for Belgium

Jack Butland

Belgium's players celebrate their victory with fans after their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup play-off for third place football match between Belgium and England at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 14, 2018.

This year saw England's first semi-final appearance in a senior men's World Cup in 28 years and the class of 2018 now have a chance to eclipse the 1990 group if they can beat Belgium and clinch third place.

Just like the second half and beyond of the last four defeat by Croatia, England never looked at the races, and despite the fact he will probably end up winning the Golden Boot, Harry Kane looked very quiet once again in-front of goal. If picked, Romelu Lukaku is expected to be given a straight run for it, with Harry Kane unlikely to play any part in England's final game in Russian Federation.

Meunier shinned home to score his country's fastest-ever World Cup goal, while the Paris Saint-Germain player also became Belgium's 10th scorer at the World Cup, equalling records set by France (1982) and Italy (2006).

Victory today would secure England's highest World Cup finish since the triumph in 1966 and their highest ever on foreign soil. They finished fourth in 1986.

England take on Belgium in the third and fourth place playoff.

What time does the FIFA World Cup 2018 Belgium v/s England 3rd place play-off match begins in India (time in IST)?

"It shows we had a good group stage and scored a lot of goals".

Speaking after Belgium's 2-0 win over England, Hazard told Belgian outlet HLN: "After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different".

The Red Devils are favorite to finish third, with William Hill offering odds of 23/20 on Roberto Martinez's men to win the game in 90 minutes, while England are 9/4 and the draw is at 13/5.

England, on the other hand, have enjoyed a fantastic World Cup campaign.

But for the supporters and players alike it is completely meaningless and, if anything, has worked to siphon some of the pride from England's tournament success. "We've suffered together. We've played football that a mutual fan of the World Cup really enjoyed", he says.

England were on top for most of the second half but with captain Harry Kane looking exhausted, Belgium's greater sharpness in the final third proved decisive.

Southgate added: "I thought Stones was absolutely outstanding and [goalkeeper Jordan] Pickford has had a wonderful tournament".

And that perhaps wasn't the best approach to take as Belgium looked set to go for the kill from the get-go.

Tottenham team-mate Toby Alderweireld was similarly wasteful when he hooked over the bar shortly after the half-hour, although Belgium's only real setback by half-time was the loss of Chadli to an apparent hamstring injury.

Belgium and Croatia are easily the best sides England have faced at this tournament, yet in large parts, the off-ball movement was too static, passing options have been easily plugged while the possession pointless and without plan or penetration.



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