Thursday June 28 2018
World Cup: Januzaj defeats England

Adnan Januzaj’s stunner means Belgium top the group and will face Japan in the Round of 16, while England take on Colombia.

This was an extremely strange situation to be in, because both teams were qualified and not particularly eager to top the group, because they would then face Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Portugal, France and Argentina on their path to the Final. Runners-up, on the other hand, faced the prospect of Colombia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Croatia and Denmark.

Going into this final group game, England and Belgium were level on points and goal difference, with the Three Lions ahead only on the Fair Play rules by virtue of having fewer yellow cards. Both Coaches made massive changes to the line-ups.

Youri Tielemans saw a long-range strike parried and Belgium thought they had scored after nine minutes when Marouane Fellaini nodded down a cross and Pickford fumbled, but Gary Cahill sprinted back to clear it off the line.

Belgium broke the deadlock and took first place in the group with a marvellous curling finish into the far top corner from Adnan Januzaj. It was his first international goal for the former Manchester United man.

Marcus Rashford should’ve equalised when springing the offside trap, but the shot was fingertipped wide by Thibaut Courtois one-on-one.

Danny Welbeck saw his shot deflected wide by Fellaini, Dries Mertens immediately forced a tricky save from Pickford after coming off the bench and Fellaini hit the side-netting.

England 0-1 Belgium

Januzaj 51 (B)

England: Pickford; Jones, Stones (Maguire 46), Cahill; Alexander-Arnold, Loftus-Cheek, Dier, Delph, Rose; Rashford, Vardy

Belgium: Courtois; Dendoncker, Boyata, Vermaelen (Kompany 74); Chadli, Fellaini, Dembele, T Hazard; Januzaj (Mertens 86), Batshuayi, Tielemans

Ref: Skomina (SVN)