Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne pick England apart as Belgium win bronze

Jul 15, 2018, 01:45
Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne pick England apart as Belgium win bronze

The glorified friendly was settled by Thomas Meunier's fourth-minute tap in and a third goal of the tournament for Eden Hazard as Belgium secured a second victory over England in Russian Federation following their 1-0 success in the group stages.

The victory meant Belgium, who lost to France in the semifinals on Tuesday, secured their best finish at a World Cup after having been defeated in the third-place game in 1986.

Airport managers said on Facebook: 'Please be aware that there will be no public viewing area to see the England Football Team arrive home so we strongly advise the public not to come to Birmingham Airport as you will not see the team'. This Belgian team should be proud of what it achieved in Russian Federation, but surely they will also be haunted by their inability to finish the job.

12' - Belgian counter-attack builds up to give Kevin De Bruyne a chance inside the box, but the shot gets deflected by a defender and Jordan Pickford. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Eric Dier, Phil Jones, Danny Rose and Fabian Delph all come into the starting line-up after beginning on the bench in the semi-final defeat to Croatia.

The match had been billed as a shoot-out between Kane and Lukaku, with the Belgian, on four goals, needing to score three without reply to go ahead of Kane.

The fiancee of Harry Maguire, who has become one of the most popular England players during their stirring run to the semi-finals, posted on Instagram this morning with a picture of a shirt, saying: "Game Day".

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It was the second time England and Belgium met in this year's tournament. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard will both be 31 by the time the 2020 World Cup in Qatar rolls around.

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Belgium got off to a dream start with Thomas Meunier scoring after just four minutes to fire the Red Devils to an early lead.

"Certainly after this World Cup".

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

A gut-wrenching 2-1 defeat to Croatia after extra-time at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday night denied England a shot at a second World Cup triumph, instead setting up a consolation game against familiar foes Belgium.

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"This game showed there is still room for improvement", said Kane.

FW Raheem Sterling, 6 - His dribbling and movement made him England's biggest threat in an underwhelming first half, creating one good chance for Kane.

Romelu Lukaku was two goals behind leading man Harry Kane and the Belgium frontman had his fair share of opportunities to close the gap.

They received a let-off when Lukaku failed to control a defence-splitting pass from De Bruyne, allowing Pickford to charge off his line to smother.

The manager did not deviate from his script preaching realism after his side exceeded expectations through the tournament and stretched a fine Belgium team, particularly in the second half.

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