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Belgium vs England
2018 FIFA World Cup, Third-Place Playoff
The playoff for third-place is usually full of goals as both sides have nothing to really play for, and it certainly started off that way.
Nacer Chadli’s ball across goal found the boot of Thomas Meunier who put the Belgians ahead just four minutes into the game.
From there both sides enjoyed spells in possession but the half never really got going.
England had their chances but Belgium looked the most likely, although they went to half time leading by a single goal.
The second half saw Belgium sit back and look to counter as England put more and more pressure on.
England came close on a few occasions but it was the Belgian’s that would find the net again.
Kevin De Bruyne’s put a picture perfect through ball towards Eden Hazard who made no mistake putting the ball into the back of the next late into the game.
It was enough to get Belgium over the line as they recorded ta third-place finish – their best ever at a World Cup.
Belgium and England play each other for the second time this World Cup. The winner will finish third-place. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 12am AEST.
The first time these two played was in the last game of the group stages.
Both sides had already progressed to the Round of 16 but first place was up for grabs. Although whoever had finished second would have the ‘easier’ route to the finals.
Both sides also fielded their ‘B-Team’ with Adnan Januzaj scoring the only goal of the game to put Belgium on top of the standings.
From there Belgium would experience the highs and lows of the tournament. Going 2-nil down to Japan with 30 minutes remaining in the Round of 16, they managed to pull off an astonishing comeback to win 3-2 with the last kick of the game.
They then went on to play Brazil off the park in the Quarter-Finals, beating the favourites 2-1 in one of the best performances in Belgian history.
They couldn’t get past the French however, going down 1-nil in the Semi-Finals.
Romelu Lukaku sits second behind Harry Kane for top goalscorer, the Manchester United striker has netted four times this tournament.
If he plays he will be looking for the consolation prize.
England’s run to the deep stages of the tournament has earned them praise at home but has been shaky to say the least.
After scraping past Tunisia in the opening game they went on smash Panama 6-1.
The 1-nil loss to Belgium saw them take a favourable route to the finals but the Round of 16 would not be easy.
It took a penalty shootout to get past the Colombians but their 2-nil win over Sweden in the Quarter-Finals was much more straightforward.
They then took on a tired Croatia side in the Semi-Final and after Kieran Trippier put the English ahead with a wicked free kick five minutes in they looked well on their way.
However the Croatians rallied back and won 2-1, scoring deep into extra time to break English hearts.
Harry Kane is two goals ahead in the race for the Golden Boot with six goals, however he has been at less than 100 per cent the past few games and failed to impress.
His involvement in this game is up in the air as coach Gareth Southgate may opt to field a younger team instead.
Belgium have a stronger side with players, such as Lukaku, that tend to treat every game like it’s an important one. They should get the consolation prize.
Belgium 2 – 1 England
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 12am AEST.