World Cup Group G match report England v Belgium 28 June 2018

Emmett Rice
June 29, 2018

England and Belgium have been two of the more impressive sides at the 2018 World Cup, but neither has played a decent team yet.

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Three thoughts from Belgium's 1-0 victory over England in their Group G decider. This means that if there's a draw, the victor will be decided by the fairplay score.

Loew, who led his side to glory against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, refused to be drawn on his future in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday´s result.

Southgate's selection gave some of England's under-utilised squad the opportunity to make him sit up and take notice for the knockout stages. The Red Devils are unbeaten in their previous 11 World Cup Group matches.

When the England squad got out of bed today they had no idea if they will be playing Japan, Senegal or Colombia next week, but they will know their potential opponents when they kick-off in Kaliningrad at 7pm (UK time). The knockout game is the important one.

"I am amused when people are plotting the route right through to where we would rather stay in for the semifinal".

Belgium's Manager Roberto Martinez is expected to make at least 6 changes to his lineup with Romelu Lukaku (ruled out with an injury), Dries Mertens (ankle problem), Eden Hazard (nursing a calf problem) along with Thomas Meunier, Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen all of whom are a booking away from suspension.

But the Spaniard is seemingly not amused by the mass changes made by Roberto Martinez and Gareth Southgate, taking to Twitter to state his frustration that neither have gone with a full-strength team.

Whoever of England and Belgium tops the group will face the second-ranked team from Group H, with the victor of the latter group to play the runner-up.

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Yet what did we really learn? We're very clear about where we are as a team, and we'll continue to work to get better.

England's Harry Kane is leading the race for the World Cup Golden Boot.

In Group H, Colombia finished top of the standings with a 1-0 victory over Senegal while Japan barely squeezed into the final 16 despite losing 1-0 to Poland - because the Samurai Blue had fewer tournament yellow cards than Senegal.

"Now we need to look into our individual players".

If the match is a draw, with the two countries already joint on points, goals scored and goals conceded, it will come down to fair play.

For four years, these teams had planned and toiled to be at their best for the World Cup.

Jose Pekerman has refused to entertain the prospect of seeing Colombia´s stuttering World Cup campaign end at the first hurdle.

"We came into the game wanting to win it, obviously we never won it, but we are still in the round of 16 and something to look forward to".

Friday is a rest day. Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia have all been pushed to the limit in their groups, with only France having a similarly easy ride into the round of 16.

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