Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

England not a top-four team despite finishing fourth - Gareth Southgate

England not a top-four team despite finishing fourth - Gareth Southgate

Eden Hazard (L) and Harry Kane will face each other again, when Belgium play England in the third-place playoff match at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 14, 2018.

The result secured Belgium's best finish ever at a World Cup, while for England, the fourth place matches its 1990 feat as the best result since winning it all in 1966.

There was nothing Pickford could do though as De Bruyne and Hazard combined to wrap up the victory on 82 minutes, the latter drilling low inside the near post for his third goal of the competition.

Harry Kane's struggles in the knockout rounds continued but, with Romelu Lukaku unable to add to the four he netted in Group G, should take home England's only silverware as the likely Golden Boot victor, with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann three goals behind Kane's tally of six. England's Kane attempts a shot at goal but hits it wide.

The two teams previously met in their final Group "G" game in Kaliningrad when both had already guaranteed a place in the last 16 - with the twist that the side who finished second would land in the easier side of the draw.

Meanwhile, England head into the game following a 2-1 defeat to Croatia in the semi-final encounter played on Wednesday.

England's encouraging World Cup performance ended with successive defeats as Belgium claimed third spot in Russian Federation. A third place finish is not what they came for, but will be what they're leaving with.

The goal means Belgium have had 10 different goalscorers at this World Cup - equalling the record set by France in 1982 and Italy in 2006.

"We need to regroup and recover and see the opportunity".

To watch the Belgium vs. England 2018 FIFA World Cup third-place showdown live stream for free without a cable subscription, fans should sign up for a free trial of a live TV streaming package such as Sling TV, YouTube TV, or DirecTV Now.

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Belgium manager Roberto Martinez echoed the feelings of Southgate and said, "It's a hard emotion to manage".

"The honest thing is, it´s not a game any team wants to play in", said Southgate, whose side have drawn praise for the way they have briefly united a country bitterly divided over Brexit.

Belgium: Courtois 7, Alderweireld 7, Kompany 7, Vertonghen 7, Meunier 8, Witsel 6, De Bruyne 9, Tielemans 7, Chadli 5, Lukaku 6, Hazard 9. Belgium of course beat England in the group stages 1-0 but on that occasion, England boss Gareth Southgate did not pick his strongest XI.

Scott Brant: Belgium 2 - 1 England. We are going to give everything we have and we know that England are of the same mindset.

"We´ll want to give a performance of huge pride, there´s no question about that", said Southgate.

Belgium and England meet for the second time in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and this time the game is nearly as meaningless as their first meeting with only 3rd place on the line. Meunier gets in front of Rose and slots it home for Belgium's opener.

Southgate added: "I thought Stones was absolutely outstanding and [goalkeeper Jordan] Pickford has had a wonderful tournament".

Once Alli and Lingard introduced in the second half, England's game picked up pace and they were creating a lot. But.

But it mattered little in the end, Hazard making no mistake with his near-post finish having been sent clean through by De Bruyne, the star pair combining to put a fitting seal on Belgium's impressive showing in Russian Federation.

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