Belgium beats England to secure third place in World Cup

England manager Gareth Southgate applauds fans after the World Cup semi-final against Croatia

While Gareth Southgate and Martinez dismissed the suggestion they wanted to lose to finish second, both attracted criticism for fielding largely second-string teams. Did that skew their karma?

Another classy defensive display by the Spurs man, which included a magnificent goal line clearance with the score at 1-0. The Red Devils won't leave empty handed.

England, who were defeated by Croatia in their semifinal, matched their fourth-place finish from 1990.

Gareth Southgate's side must be content with equaling the efforts of Sir Bobby Robson's side who finished in fourth spot at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, making their efforts in Russian Federation the joint second-best achievement of any English side at football's most prestigious tournament. Belgium are obviously a good team.

Khaled Abdallah: 3 - 2. 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.

It should be an open and entertaining match with nothing really at stake and the scorelines from all but three of the third place matches show that.

What time does the FIFA World Cup 2018 Belgium v/s England 3rd place play-off match begins in India (time in IST)?

England XI: Jordan Pickford; Phil Jones, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Eric Dier; Kieran Trippier, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph, Danny Rose; Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling.

Brendan McDonnell: 1 - 2.




I don't know. You know I've spent six (years) in England.

With tiredness, lack of form and injury forcing Southgate into five changes - including his entire midfield - England simply could not match up to them. So, with this prediction I'm going with a rule I follow during NCAA Football Bowl Season... who cares more?

It was a stinker of a game and understandably so after both sets of players slumped to the turf after their respective semi-final defeats.

George Perry could care less about the score.

Saturday's game will be a completely different affair, but should be a well matched contest. And that's the full 90, not some stage-managed sub in the 24′.

Having come so close to sporting immortality, Belgium and England must now recompose themselves to go in search of what will be a high-water mark for at least two generations of fans, or even the greatest ever footballing achievement. Thomas Meunier comes back in to replace Mousa Dembele, while Youri Tielemans comes in at the expense of Marouane Fellaini in the centre. Typically, soccer obliged to an unfathomable extent, delivering a multitude of goalscoring records that still stand, including: highest per-game average (5.38!), highest team goal total and goal difference (Hungary, 27 and plus-17), and highest for and against total by a victor (West Germany, 25 and 14). Belgium won't care but won't rotate. England wins from a set piece.

Southgate took it upon himself to play an ambassadorial role.

Eden Hazard. The Chelsea man looked like he had a point to prove after the semi-final defeat to France and was at his quicksilver best against England, tormenting the English defence with mesmerising footwork and mazy runs.

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