Russia 2018: Belgium make history with England win

Russia 2018: Belgium make history with England win

The Belgium Golden Generation have somewhat lived up to their billing with a third place finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

After a disappointing 1-0 loss to France in the semi-finals, Belgium picked themselves up seeing off the Three Lions 2-0 to come away with the third place medal in Russia – their best ever achievement at a FIFA World Cup tournament.

A quick fire goal in the 4th minute off the boot of right wing back, Thomas Meunier gave the Red Devils a dream start against a fired up English side still hurting from the Croatia loss. Belgium however had numerous opportunities to double their lead but they failed to make it count, heading into the break with a goal advantage.

Knowing what was at stake, the Three Lions introduced fresh legs into the game with a double substitution which saw Lingard and Rashford come on in place of Rose and Sterling.

As expected, those changes soon began to pay off as England controlled the game having the better chances in the second half. With every failed attack, Belgium hit them on the counter and could have extended their lead but Lukaku’s first touch let him down on a number of occasions when through on goal.

The defining moment of the game however came in the 69th minute when Eric Dier was through on goal for England but his little chip over Thibaut Courtois was cleared off the line by Toby Alderweireld to preserve Belgium’s lead.

Dier then came close again with a fine header which was just wide of Courtois’ goal. With England failing to make their chances count, Belgium countered and almost scored what would have been the goal of the tournament but for a Jordan Pickford save.

Belgium soon made England pay in the 82nd minute after a pass from Kevin De Bruyne let Hazard in behind the Three Lions defence and the Chelsea man slotted in calmly beyond Pickford to kill any hopes of a fightback from England.

From that moment on, England tried to see out the game while Belgium tried to score more goals but at the end of 90 minutes, the Red Devils emerged worthy winners leaving a sour taste in the mouth of the England faithfuls.

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