WORLD CUP 2018: Belgium top Group G after beating England

England and Belgium squared off in a tie that was meant to decide the winner of Group G given both sides were already through to the Round of 16. Somewhat unsurprisingly Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez opted to field what many would consider as weakened teams with the likes of Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens amongst others being left out of their respective sides ahead of the knockout stages. The notable omissions lessened the stakes of the game with bragging rights evidently not on the line due to both teams not being at their full strength, nonetheless, the winner of Group G would go on to face Japan in the knockout round whilst the runner up gets a far more tricky tie with against Colombia. The game's early stages was somewhat boring, but England did well to keep hold of the ball and apply pressure thus reducing Belgium's opportunities to launch attacks, but the Red Devils also did quite well to soak up the pressure and prevent England from finding the back of the net. The second-half was more open as Adnan Januzaj curled the ball into the back of the in the 51st minute which evidently served as a wakeup call for England. Marcus Rashford found himself with a chance to get England back into the game in the 66th minute through a 1 on 1 against Thibaut Courtois, but the Manchester United forward failed to convert the opportunity with the Chelsea shot-stopper turning the ball behind for a corner kick. Danny Welbeck was brought on for Trent Alexander-Arnoldin the 79th-minute in a bid to introduce a new dynamic to England's attack but it proved unsuccessful as Belgium secured a 1-0 lead over the Three Lions thus finishing top of Group G. WORLD CUP - GROUP G England - 0 Belgium - 1 (Januzaj 51') Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad

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