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Eden Hazard names himself as World Cup Golden Ball victor

15 July, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Jack Butland

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. They played in the final game of Group G, but both sides already had secured qualification to the knockout stage and rested many starters as a result.

Beating Belgium on Saturday would give England their best World Cup finish since then, surpassing fourth place in Italy in 1990.

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium): How England desperately need a player like the Manchester City magician. Let us know below or get after us on Twitter!

Having come out of the traps flying at the tournament with Kane's first goal inside five minutes of the opener against Tunisia, England's finale could not have started worse, though.

Belgium's Thomas Meunier scores a goal against England.

England's Harry Kane reacts after losing to Belgium in the third place playoff.

A gut-wrenching 2-1 loss to Croatia after extra-time denied England a shot at a second World Cup triumph, instead setting up a consolation game against familiar foes Belgium.

Chances for Romelu Lukaku and another for Meunier came and went and England looked relieved to hear the half-time whistle, which prevented another Belgium corner.

In recent World Cup campaigns, the game usually produces a flurry of goals.

Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne were both excellent at times for Belgium during the 2018 World Cup.

Keep it right here for score updates, analysis and highlights from Belgium vs. England. We don't want to wait another 20 years to get into the semifinals and the big matches.

But England improved after the break and almost equalised when Eric Dier got clear and chipped over Thibaut Courtois, only for Toby Alderweireld to make a sliding clearance off the line.

England coach Gareth Southgate wrapped up his news conference after his team's 2-0 loss to Belgium in the third-place playoff by thanking the people of Russian Federation for their welcome during the tournament.

It's the second meeting of the tournament for the two teams. Croatia is attempting to become the first "new" nation to win the World Cup since 2010 when Spain did it, and become only the ninth team ever to win the most prestigious and most important championship in sports.

22nd minute, 1-0 Belgium: The Belgians still are dominating possession.

England, meanwhile, will take some consolation that Harry Kane remains likely to be the World Cup's top scorer, with Belgian rival Romelu Lukaku failing to make up ground on him. They produce a scintillating counter-attacking move, as De Bruyne releases Hazard, he crosses for Meunier whose first-time shot is brilliantly stopped by Pickford.

As England looks ahead to Euro 2020, Gareth Southgate will have to try to find ways to score in the run of play more than England did during this tournament while still keeping the set-piece threat that was so present here in Russian Federation.



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