World Cup: Belgium beat England 2-0 to finish third

July 14, 2018
St Petersburg: A slick Belgium produced a spirited performance befitting their pre-tournament reputation to get past England 2-0 and finish third in the FIFA World Cup here on Saturday.

Goals from Thomas Meunier (fourth minute) and Eden Hazard (82nd) helped Roberto Martinez’s “golden generation” of footballers to their best-ever finish in the competition after losing the third-place playoff in the 1986 World Cup.

England, seeking their best-ever finish since 1966 when they lifted the trophy, were guilty of spurning a flurry of chances.

While Belgium lost to France in the first semi-final, Croatia got the better of England in the second last-four clash.

Belgium were off to a perfect start when in the opening exchanges Romelu Lukaku’s pass sliced open England’s napping defence and found Nacer Chadli. He crossed for Meunier who had ghosted past England full-back Danny Rose and stabbed home from close past past in-form goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

It was the earliest goal ever scored by Belgium in a World Cup match, and it made Meunier the 10th player to score a goal for Belgium in the competition, matching a record held by France in 1982 and Italy in 2006.

Bearing a look as if they are still licking their wounds of the semi-final heartache, England looked the second best outfit for some time after the goal as Belgium turned on the heat.

Midfielders Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Eric Dier put in industrious shifts to bring England back in the game by keeping Belgians at bay as the game neared its half hour mark.

England’s best chance came when Raheem Sterling set up top-scorer Harry Kane nicely but the Tottenham Hotspur striker could not connect properly and shot wide of target.

Leicester City stopper-back Harry Maguire also came close from a corner while Loftus-Cheek showed enterprise.

Meanwhile, after setting up the goal, and scoring that famous winner against Japan, Chadli’s World Cup ended in disappointment as he limped out and was replaced by Thomas Vermaelen.

In the second half, England got their best chance when Dier was clear on goal but his chipped attempt beat goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois but Toby Alderweireld cleared off the line near the right post.

Maguire also came either side of Dier’s opportunity but his headers were wide. Kane also failed to get on the end of a perfectly weighed pass from substitute Jese Lingard in the 70th minute.

Hazard then capped the scoring in the 82nd minute with his third goal of the World Cup when he collected a pass from the excellent Kevin De Bruyne that deflected off Phil Jones’ right heel and calmly finished past Pickford in the bottom left corner.

Lukaku had a good chance to increase his tally but the Manchester United forward failed to grab it. However it hardly mattered as England could not find their opening goal till the end of the match.

Israeli attack in Gaza kills 24

Tel Aviv: At least 24 people have been killed in an Israeli attack in the refugee camp of Nuseirat in the central part of the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian...

AAP on streets to save accused, says Swati Maliwal

New Delhi: AAP Rajya Sabha member Swati Maliwal on Sunday while reflecting on the past 12 years since the horrific Nirbhaya case, said that 'they are now out on the...

Scorching heatwaves: Rajasthan’s Barmer, UP’s Kanpur hottest at 46.9 deg C

Jaipur: Rajasthan's Barmer and Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur recorded the maximum temperature of 46.9 degrees Celsius on Saturday, making the two districts the hottest in the country. The Meteorological Centre, Jaipur,...

Israel continues attack on Gaza’s Jabalia camp, urges civilian evacuation

Gaza: The Israeli army continued its attack on Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, urging residents in the area to evacuate their homes and head to shelters in western Gaza...

Trinamool is with INDIA bloc at national level: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Days after saying that the Trinamool Congress would extend “outside" support to the INDIA bloc if it is elected to power at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata...

Maliwal assault case: Kejriwal’s PA Bibhav Kumar arrested from CM residence

New Delhi: Acting swiftly on former DCW chief Swati Maliwal’s FIR over assault in 'Sheeshmahal’, the Delhi Police on Saturday arrested Arvind Kejriwal’s personal secretary Bibhav Kumar from the Delhi...

Nine devotees burnt to death as bus catches fire in Haryana’s Nuh

Gurugram: At least nine people were burnt alive and more than 24 were injured when a moving bus caught fire on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway near Tauru in Haryana's Nuh district...

‘Outrage of modesty’ complaint against Bengal Governor: Three Raj Bhavan staffers booked

Kolkata: Three employees of Raj Bhavan in Kolkata were booked on Saturday in connection with the 'outrage of modesty' complaint against West Bengal Governor C. V. Ananda Bose. The FIR...

3 Spanish nationals killed in shooting in Afghanistan: Official

Bamyan (Afghanistan): Three foreign nationals were killed in a shooting attack in central Afghanistan's Bamyan province. The victims are confirmed to be Spanish, two of them women, a local police...

SC gives no interim relief to ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to consider the plea filed by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren seeking interim release to enable him to campaign during the...

Congress’ mission is to win 50 seats now: PM Modi

Fatehpur (UP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that the Congress has now launched ‘Mission 50’ and is working to win a minimum of 50 seats only in the...

North Korea fires short-range ballistic missiles toward East Sea: JCS

Seoul: North Korea fired several short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea on Friday, the South Korean military said, a day after South Korea and the United States staged combined...

Read Previous

Bihar set to get cheapest drinking water in world

Read Next

Djokovic beats Nadal after marathon battle, advances to Wimbledon final

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :