Saturday July 14 2018
World Cup: Bronze medal for Belgium

Belgium defeated England for the second time in this World Cup and secured the bronze medal in Russia 2018, their best ever finish.

These sides had also met in the group stage when both were already qualified, Belgium winning 1-0 in a game between two second-string teams. They met again in St Petersburg for the bronze medal after losing their semi-finals to France and Croatia respectively.

It took all of four minutes to break the deadlock, as Thomas Meunier got the right side of Danny Rose to slide on to a Nacer Chadli low cross from the left.

It was almost 2-0, but Jordan Pickford made a tricky reaction save on Kevin De Bruyne, while Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld were off target from promising positions.

Chadli went off before half-time with an injury, but Lukaku’s attempts to prise the Golden Boot from Kane fell short after twice taking a poor first touch.

Eric Dier thought he had equalised when dinking a delicate finish over on-rushing Thibaut Courtois, but Alderweireld rushed back for a desperate goal-line clearance.

Just as England were piling on pressure, Belgium countered and Pickford performed a great one-handed save on Meunier’s volley.

Moments later, Eden Hazard did double their lead, running on to a De Bruyne through ball and shrugging off Phil Jones to finish at the near post.

Belgium 2-0 England

Meunier 4 (B), E Hazard 82 (B)

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans (Dembele 78), Witsel, Chadli (Vertonghen 39); De Bruyne, R Lukaku (Mertens 60), E Hazard

England: Pickford; Jones, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Loftus-Cheek (Alli 84), Dier, Delph, Rose (Lingard 46); Sterling (Rashford 46), Kane

Ref: Faghani (IRN)

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