Belgium downs England to claim highest World Cup finish

Belgium earned a place in the last four by beating Brazil in the quarter-finals but were defeated by France in St Petersburg on Tuesday evening. "We need to improve, we need to get better but that will come", he said.

"We don't want to take anything but a positive feeling out of the World Cup". We had them on the ropes for the first half-hour of that and we just couldn't get a goal.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward would be just the second England player to scoop the award, after Gary Lineker was the top scorer in 1986.

In the end, the route to the final mattered little and both sides, having lost in their respective semifinals, found themselves in Saint Petersburg to contest the maligned third-place play-off, with Belgium coming out on top thanks to goals by Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard.

The FIFA World Cup 2018 3rd place match between Belgium vs England 7:30 PM IST.

Apart from defender, Kieran Trippier, who is a doubt for today's game, England coach, Gareth Southgate has no new injuries worries in his squad ahead of the game.

England have flattered to deceive in Russian Federation and surpassed all expectations. A second and possibly linked poisoning last month killed a woman and left a man in the hospital.

British leaders have essentially boycotted the World Cup over the poisonings of two British citizens and a former Russian spy and his daughter living in the United Kingdom, which British officials blame on the Russian government, a claim the Kremlin rejects.

Southgate took it upon himself to play an ambassadorial role. "But it has been a fantastic experience, and one we will remember and learn from". The organization of the tournament has been brilliant. We had one cleared off the line and we put the pressure on.

Belgium bookended the game with goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard to achieve their best-ever result in the tournament. Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne were a class above anything Southgate's men had to offer, and at times the gulf in midfield quality was laughably wide.

Watch Highlights of the previous meeting of England and Elgium earlier this World Cup.

England are by no mean a bad side but Belgium are a very good one, perhaps even great.

The extra day of recovery appeared to benefit the Belgians, whose strong starting team reflected that of England, who also fielded a side with the intention of winning this game.

England made set pieces the cornerstone of its run to the World Cup semifinals and created chances for Harry Maguire and Dier in the second half. He has attempted seven shots in the knockout rounds and only his penalty kick goal against Colombia hit the target.

Debate has raged over the magnitude of the chance England may have missed in falling short of the final without facing one of the tournament favourites. Both rivals can add to their tally and overtake Kane and he is desperate to play in England's final match of the tournament on Saturday afternoon to prevent them doing so.

MF Eric Dier, 7 - Looked nearly certain to be overwhelmed in midfield as Belgium dominated the first half, and was not ambitious enough with his passing.

Harry Kane blew a terrific chance to add to his six goals in Russian Federation, the favourite for the Golden Boot scuffing harmlessly wide after an inviting lay-off from Raheem Sterling. On Saturday, he slipped as he shot wide in the first half, then failed to make contact with Jesse Lingard's cross early in the second.

There was nothing Pickford could do though as De Bruyne and Hazard combined to wrap up the victory on 82 minutes, the latter drilling low inside the near post for his third goal of the competition.

  • Steve Townsend